New exit ramp at I-295, Blanding opens

Service roads designed to alleviate traffic congestion

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A long-awaited new exit ramp opened Thursday morning on Interstate 295 southbound to Blanding Boulevard.

The change means that southbound motorists exiting at Blanding will take the new service road near Morse Avenue, which is about one and a half miles from the old, now permanently closed exit.

The new exit is part of a $63.4 million project to build service roads parallel to I-295 near Blanding and Collins Road. The project will alleviate congestion at I-295 and Blanding by separating local traffic using the new service roads from interstate through traffic.

Ken Overstreet used the new exit Thursday morning during rush hour.

"I like the exit because you started the exit further back, you avoided more traffic jams and more congestion, but it worked well for us," he said.

Shela Stallings also took the new exit. She said she's glad the whole project is almost over.

"I think with them finishing up, I think it's going to get better," Stallings said.

The project started in February 2011 and should be finished by the end of this year.