DOT discusses major construction project for JTB, I-95

Project aims to alleviate congestion

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Transportation talked to the community Tuesday night about a $78 million project that is expected to alleviate congestion on Interstate 95 South by JTB.

"It's better for the community, it's better for the commuters who are trying to come through," said DOT Urban Transportation Development Manager James Bennett. "It's better for the economics here in our district, so it's a fantastic project to help address a serious operational issue."

The project includes three major improvements, including improvements for southbound traffic and traffic headed toward the beach.

"The first is southbound to I-95. Traffic that currently has to pass through a traffic signal to head out towards the beach will go to an elevated flyover, so there will be no stopping," said DOT District Project Development Engineer Jim Knight. "It will be a free flow of movement to get to the beach."

The second are the same improvements, but in reverse -- a flyover ramp connecting drivers from the beach to I-95 without having to weave across traffic.

"The third improvement is northbound. Traffic getting off at JTB that desires to go west towards US 1 currently has to go east and do a U-turn at Belfort Rd. and then come back," Knight said. "We're going to install a traffic signal where they can make a left directly at the end of the ramp."

Tuesday's public meeting to answer questions and address concerns was the last one planned before construction begins next year. No one voiced any issues with the project publicly, but the DOT also accepted private submissions on paper to make sure all voices are heard before workers begin a big project that is supposed to make drivers in that area much happier.

"With the flyover, it makes that movement so much faster and easier, not only for commuters, but for the folks trying to get over to work, as well as over to retail, to the St. Johns Town Center.It alleviates so much traffic there," said Bennett.

"It should be a good project, make transportation system much better in this area," said Knight.

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