STARKE, Fla. – Bradford County will soon see some traffic relief.
This week, News4Jax got an update on the new road project happening along U.S. 301 through Starke.
"More than two decades ago, there was going to be an issue with congestion on U.S. 301. There's a lot of semitruck traffic on the roadway," said Troy Roberts, a Florida Department of Transportation District 2 communications specialist.
That's why the Starke Truck Route was created. The project has been in the works for nearly 25 years, with construction beginning in August 2016. It is currently empty, but FDOT plans to open it at some point in September.
"Right now, our crews are doing some final paving, striping, guardrail. There's still a little work left to be done," Roberts said. "But we're confident in being able to open the roadway next month so trucks will be able to begin using that and hopefully reducing some of that congestion we see every day on 301."
A once wooded area has been turned into a four-lane highway, creating a 7.3-mile detour around the city of Starke.
According to FDOT, the goal of the project is to make a safer quicker route for residents and traditional traffic going through this city by reducing the semitruck traffic. U.S. 301 through Starke, depending on the location, carries between 24,000 and 30,000 vehicles each day.
Though FDOT plans to open the Starke Truck Route next month, construction activities will continue after opening to move toward final completion and could have slight impacts on traffic on the new roadway.
The $90 million project has taken a little more than three years to complete. Click here to learn more about the Starke Truck Route.