Mayport road project to cause traffic jams

$6.7M project on base to last until mid-March


MAYPORT, Fla. – Construction workers say traffic will be hectic on and around Naval Station Mayport next week.

More than half of the employees have not been to the base since before Christmas and, thus, didn't get notified of a road closure that starts Monday.

"I'm sure the first couple of days it will cause a little confusion," said Phillip Lavallee, of the Mayport Public Works Department.

The intersection at Moale Avenue and Baltimore Street is going to be closed to all traffic beginning Monday morning, and construction management says traffic will be hectic at the main gate to the base with many coming back from vacation.

Drivers who normally use Moale Avenue to access Baltimore Street will have to continue on Maine Street and detour on Massey Avenue to get to Baltimore Street. Moale Avenue west of the intersection will be restricted to local traffic only.

The Navy did a traffic study in 2008, and that's why it decided to expand the some of the popular roads.

"The new style is going to be a more modern boulevard style, which will have two lanes in each direction, separated by a median with dedicated turn lanes and will add some new signaling," Lavallee said.

Hanna Park/Seminole Gate will also be closed for the duration of the project, which will be about two months.

Drivers should plan for extreme congestion at the main gate during peak morning hours and are encouraged to use Gate 5 on the west side of the base near Mayport Village as an alternate.

The construction project will add temporary sidewalks around the construction site to allow school children passage to their bus stop locations.

Most of the congestion in the Mayport area is from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Navy officials hope the construction project will relieve some of the bad traffic.

"Once it's all done, it will be much less hectic, yes," Lavallee said.

The project will cost about $6.7 million, and this first phase should be done by mid-March.