Improvements to MLK Parkway annoys neighbors

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Transportation began resurfacing 3.6 miles of the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway from Boulevard Street to Duval Street this week. The project is ultimately to help traffic flow better through the area, but the road closers and construction noise have some neighbors upset.

"To get out of here now we have to go all the way back down this way to 8th Street and 11th Street, but sometimes they have the tracks closed off, so it's very hard to get out of here," said Ron Dray, who lives next to where the closed roads.

Individual ramps and service roads will be closed for a week or two because of the construction that also includes improvements to drainage systems, sidewalks and traffic signals.

The off ramp from the MLK Parkway to Main Street also will be widened during the project.

FDOT says lane closings are only taking place at night and during off-peak hours. Eastbound lane closings towards the sports complex are allowed between 7 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Westbound lane closings toward Interstate 95 are allowed between 7:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

But neighbors say the noise created by having the night work is also a problem.

Ron Dray, Lives Right Next to the Closed Roads

"We hear everything that they're doing, and piling into those pillars, they have to pound into, that's shaking the house," Dray said. "And at 3 o'clock in the morning, it's not good."

Other neighbors didn't want be interviewed, but said you can't stop progress, although they didn't know if it's going to make much difference.

"I'm going to have to hold judgment on that until it's over with to see how it's going," one resident said.

The project is set to be complete by next summer.

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