SR 13 traffic concerns grow as St. Johns County expands

30 crashes at SR 13-Roberts Road intersection in last year, authorities say

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – It's no secret St. Johns County is exploding, and with that growth comes traffic.

Backups on State Road 13 in Fruit Cove have become common during rush hour, and the area is now seeing an increase in crashes, particularly at the intersection of S.R. 13 and Roberts Road. 

The most recent one happened Saturday. 

"We heard it and we all popped up. We tend to go down and make sure that no one needs immediate help if we can," Julie Wilkison said. "There was a truck upside down. And I know it was pretty smashed, and I know it blocked the road."

Wilkison springs into action every time she sees an accident at the intersection. She told News4Jax on Tuesday that she sees them frequently outside her office window at Switzerland Animal Hospital. 

"It's always rough and it always gets more congested going this way at rush hour in the evening," she said. "The accidents are usually right around that time."

The intersection was the site of two serious crashes in the last two weeks.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office reports 17 accidents at this intersection and The Florida Highway Patrol reports 13. Some of these accidents overlap. One in May 2016 that killed 35-year-old Jeremy Stratton. 

"This one's getting worse. I've been here at the clinic a year and a half and it's getting worse," Wilkison said. "Just probably in the last six months, (I) really noticed more and more accidents."

There's a lot more traffic along S.R. 13 as supplies head to new developments that are popping up around popular St. Johns County. 

With thousands of homes on the way, they will only be more congestion on the three- and four-lane road. 

That's why Wilkison is hoping people will keep that in mind as they make their way out of her parking lot. 

"I drive out here and usually I have my friend in the car with me and I don't want either one of us hurt," she said.

The Florida Department of Transportation told News4Jax that it does not have plans to expand S.R. 13, although it is working with engineers to continue to examine that. 

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