Highway projects in Baldwin to make room for big rigs

Construction designed to ease traffic backups

Drivers in Baldwin may have noticed an increase in semi-truck traffic, and the Florida Department of Transportation is working on projects to accommodate the high number of big rigs traveling the highways.

Truck drivers like Michael Luffman travel along the I-10 and US-301 interchange frequently, where road construction is underway. Luffman said the one lane exit ramps and roadways are challenging to navigate.

"They need to open it up for everybody's safety," Luffman said. "You have cones, you have workers, you have people broken down on the side of the road, you have rookie drivers. It's tough, and you're worried about somebody else's safety plus your own."

The changes include reconstruction of the exit ramps at I-10 and US-301, with the addition of wider lanes. An additional exit ramp will be added on the right side of US-301 northbound to I-10 eastbound, which is intended to ease traffic backups from truck stops.

The interchange project is scheduled for completion in 2020. Meanwhile, FDOT is working on other projects in the area.

Projects include the Baldwin Bypass, which is a new four lane roadway that stretches four miles. It will break off at US-301 just north of Baldwin and reconnect at I-10.

The Starke Truck Route is a seven mile detour around US-301 to ease traffic in Starke.