Nearly 6 years after collapse, big changes finally coming to Liberty Street

It was an accident in 2015 that is now changing the look of Jacksonville’s downtown riverfront.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was an accident in 2015 that is now changing the look of Jacksonville’s downtown riverfront.

The road and structure collapsed underneath Liberty Street near Coastline Drive nearly six years ago. As of Friday, the road was still blocked off, but that is about to change.

The collapse of the structure created a big mess and lots of changes for the area. Since then, there have there been delays and cost overruns, but now the city has fixed and repaired the collapsed structure underneath Liberty Street.

The area used to be made up of the old courthouse parking lot and the old City Hall building. All of that is now different.

The city so far has spent more than $30 million for the repairs.

For people that have been watching the repairs, or wondering why it’s taking so long, they’re hopeful that it will open up again soon.

“So many things this year with construction projects have been delayed and you know time is money. So I guess they’re milking it to be honest with you,” said Charles Payne, who lives nearby.

The hole that formed on Liberty Street after the collapse has been repaired. That was the main concern.

The city has also made some major changes.

Coastline Drive used to run all along the St. Johns River all the way down to the Hyatt Regency hotel, but that is no longer there. It was replaced with a water inlet which could eventually become a marina, the city said.

The city has also now detoured the Riverwalk, somewhat. A segment, which is not open yet, now runs down Liberty Street and will eventually run across where the old courthouse was to link everything together.

The project is due to open at the end of November, but according to the city there could be more delays and it may not open until mid-December.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.