Attention drivers: Buckman repairs to begin this weekend

News4JAX reporter Aaron Farrar has more on the repairs.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two southbound lanes of Interstate 295 across the Buckman Bridge will be detoured from Friday evening through early Monday morning for the next several weekends while permanent repairs are made to expansion joints forced the Buckman Bridge to close for nearly eight hours in May, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

FDOT said only two lanes of the bridge will be open from 9 p.m. Friday through Monday at 5 a.m. on the southbound side that heads towards Mandarin. The weekend lane closures are expected to continue through late August, pending weather delays and other possible unforeseen circumstances.

Transportation officials say the safety of workers is paramount during the repair project and are urging drivers to pay extra attention. Motorists on the Buckman, I-295, and in the general vicinity should expect delays and plan ahead.

“Drivers need to expect our construction crews to be there. They are going to be out there working. Drivers need to expect to slow down a little bit,” FDOT spokesperson Troy Roberts said.

Crews will have some protection in place from oncoming traffic with a mobile barricade, but ultimately the safety of workers is in the hands of drivers.

“Please maintain your speed. Please pay attention. Limit distractions. Make sure you get to your destination safely, but also make sure you keep our crews safe on the roadway,” Robert said.

As part of the double lane closures, the U.S. 17 ramps to southbound I-295 will be detoured to the Blanding Boulevard (State Road 21) interchange where motorists will be able to continue to their destination. Signs will direct motorists throughout the detour.

The permanent joint repair will take place over six to eight consecutive weekends to reduce the impact on drivers, according to FDOT.

The weekend-only repairs were originally scheduled to begin last Friday but were pushed back a week due to Tropical Storm Elsa.

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