Major road project expected to ease heavy congestion

Phase 2 of 9B between Duval, St. Johns counties to open Sunday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Drivers who commute between Duval and St. Johns counties should see some relief this week in the usual heavy traffic.

State Road 9B starts in Duval County at the Interstate 295 east beltway and will extend to St. Johns Parkway in St. Johns County.

The new State Road 9B, connecting U.S. 1/Philips Highway to Interstate 95, is scheduled to open to traffic in stages starting Sunday. Southbound lanes and ramps of the new roadway will open Sunday morning and northbound lanes and ramps are scheduled to open Monday morning.

Phase 1 of the state road project connecting I-295 to Philips Highway is complete, but this weekend Phase 2 connecting U.S. 1 to I-95 will open.

Construction workers will put up overhead signs closing 9B and all southbound lanes of I-295 between Baymeadows Road and Philips Highway before the Florida Department of Transportation opens Phase 2.

The closures will be Saturday and Sunday from midnight to 5 a.m.

One driver living near Bartram Springs said he's looking forward to the completion of 9B, hoping it will ease congestion and save time.

"This will definitely ease my travel into work. Typically it takes about a half-hour to get from my house to work. This will shave at least 10 to 15 minutes," Eastand Royal said.

Tropical Storm Colin delayed the opening of the new portion of 9B last weekend.

Despite the delayed opening, FDOT said the $95 million project is still on schedule.

The third phase of 9B connecting St. Johns Parkway to I-95 began back in August and is expected to be completed in 2018.

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