JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the first phase of the First Coast Expressway nearly complete, many drivers have been wondering when tolls will start being collected.
The First Coast Expressway, also known as State Road 23, connects Interstate 10 in Jacksonville to Blanding Boulevard in Clay County.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, pond work, ramp tie-ins and guardrail work are some of the projects left on the list. But traffic has already been shifted to its final configuration, with northbound and southbound drivers traveling under toll gantries.
That's why many are wondering whether the tolls are being collected.
The answer is no -- for now.
FDOT says toll collection will begin sometime this fall.
There won't be a grace period once FDOT starts collecting tolls, which means drivers need to start preparing now.
Drivers can use the toll-by-plate option, which means whenever you drive under the toll gantries, it will scan your license and send you a bill in the mail.
Drivers can also save time and money by purchasing a SunPass, which goes on the right on your windshield. You can get one at stores such as Publix, Walgreens and CVS.
Tolls for cars traveling between I-10 in Jacksonville and Blanding Boulevard in Middleburg will range from 20 cents to 85 cents.
A few spots will be toll-free, including S.R. 23 between I-10 and New World Avenue, to allow access to Cecil Commerce Center; and the route between Old Jennings Road and Oakleaf Plantation Parkway, to maintain local access.
Some drivers already using the First Coast Expressway say the shortcut takes a lot of traffic off I-295.
"It is very convenient," Roderick Hinds, who uses the First Coast Expressway, told News4Jax on Tuesday. "It is convenient to I-10 and Oakleaf Plantation."
But there's a downside.
"I'm not a big fan of the tolls at all," he said.
FDOT will post signs along the route warning drivers when the tolls will be implemented.