Overland Bridge replacement on I-95 begins

Project expected to last until mid-2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday started a $227 million project to replace the series of overpasses that carry traffic over Hendricks, Kings and Montana avenues along 2.3 miles of Interstate 95 near downtown Jacksonville.

Known as the Overland Bridge project, it will improve traffic flow along the I-95 corridor just south of the Fuller Warren Bridge, according to transportation officials. I-95 will be widened to provide an additional lane for southbound traffic. A full service interchange will be built on I-95 and Philips Highway/Atlantic Boulevard. This will provide an exit for northbound traffic on I-95 going to Philips Highway and Atlantic Boulevard.

Additional capacity on I-95 will occur by adding a two-lane parallel service road for northbound traffic and reconstructing the existing southbound lanes. The south end of the Fuller Warren Bridge will be widened to provide a two-lane exit ramp to a southbound parallel service road. The elevated roadway on I-95 will be replaced from south of the Fuller Warren Bridge to north of Emerson Street. The I-95 overpass over the Florida East Coast Railway railroad near Baptist Medical Center will also be replaced.

Access to and from the Acosta and Main Street bridges will be improved. The traffic pattern for vehicles exiting the Main Street Bridge traveling into the San Marco area will be improved. The direct access to Hendricks Avenue from the southbound Main Street Bridge will be permanently closed. Southbound traffic on Main Street Bridge will exit at Riverplace Boulevard or Prudential Drive to reach San Marco via Hendricks Avenue.

The project should be finished by mid-2016, officials said. As construction on the project progresses, traffic will use parallel roadways, which upon completion of the I-95 bridge structures will remain and provide additional capacity for traffic between the Fuller Warren Bridge and north of Emerson Street. Lane closings are allowed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Pile driving will occur during daytime hours.

The overall project cost is estimated at $227 million. This includes $158 million for construction, $9 million for utility relocation and $60.6 million projected to purchase property for the expanded roadway and required retention ponds. The FDOT is purchasing 155 parcels of property totaling 45.8 acres.

The Overland Bridge was built in 1959 and reconstructed in 1989. It is classified by inspection reports as "structurally deficient," which means the structure needs to be replaced or repaired.

The contractor is Archer, Western Contractors, Inc. of Tampa. The designer is Reynolds, Smith and Hills of Jacksonville. Construction management services are being provided by Eisman & Russo Inc. of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville office of KCCS Inc.