FDOT says coming changes to Emerson and I-95 will cut down on crashes

News4JAX reporter Brianna Andrews joins us near the proposed construction site with more on the plans.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Transportation is working on a $312 million project to cut down on traffic and improve safety.

The project includes work from Atlantic Boulevard to J. Turner Butler Boulevard and improvements to the stretch of Emerson Street between I-95 and Philips Highway.

FDOT recorded 69 crashes in three years on a section of Emerson and the turn lanes onto it from Philips Highway between 2019 and 2021.

The state’s plan is to make the road smoother and expand it.

“Our goal is to always make improvements that will provide long-term value to taxpayers because as a state agency we’re responsible for being good stewards of taxpayer dollars; we also want to make sure that we make improvements that are safe for a long time to come,” said Hampton Ray, Community Outreach Manager of FDOT.

Emerson will get a new directional median and a few raised medians from Philips to Copper Circle with the hopes it will lower the chances of angle and left-turn crashes.

“In this case, we do expect crashes to decrease as a result of the median barrier that’s going to be installed there,” Ray said.

Less than half a mile down the road crews will add a new diverging diamond from I-95 to Emerson Street, similar to the county’s first one at JTB and San Pablo. A diverging diamond is when two directions of traffic cross over and briefly drive on the opposite side of the road.

Another diverging diamond is planned for the intersection of Belfort Road and JTB.

FDOT said both diverging diamonds are designed to cut down on traffic and reduce lefthand turns.

“We’ve got a lot of growth coming to the area,” Ray said. “We’re seeing a lot of that in our region as a whole.”

FDOT is planning to work on two other projects as well.

One involves changes to I-295 at JTB and the other involves International Golf Parkway at I-295.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.