State mulls overhaul of interchange of JTB, San Pablo Road

FDOT public hearing held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter, Jennifer Ready - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The state is in the early stages of planning a major overhaul of the intersection at J. Turner Butler Boulevard and San Pablo Road, and officials are looking for input from residents and motorists.

The Florida Department of Transportation is taking input on constructing a diverging diamond interchange to replace the existing exits and on-ramps to deal with increasing traffic in the area. 

FDOT estimates nearly 150,000 vehicles travel per through the area every day.

Drivers along San Pablo Road told News4Jax they're open to pretty much any solution to help with the congestion they deal with daily.

"There was always gridlock," said Michelle Holland, who lives off of San Pablo Road. "You'd always hear about a wreck or congestion."

"During rush hour it gets busy and crazy," said Jacob Emerson, who is visiting his brother in the area. "It gets a little hectic sometimes."

But motorists weren't sure what a diverging diamond Interchange would be like, so we showed examples.

"If it works like other interchanges, it will be great," Michael Browning said.

In a diverging-diamond interchange, drivers cross over to travel briefly on the left side of the road, then flow to the right side of the road after the intersection. It eliminates left turn options to make for a smoother traffic flow.

FDOT said the new design will improve traffic safety, reduce crashes and even offer an additional access point to and from the Mayo Clinic. The project is still in the early stages.

Some drivers have concerns about the idea, especially with the new interchange so close to Mayo Clinic.

"I'm afraid of the elders not knowing which way to go," Holland said.

FDOT hosted a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at 4791 Windsor Commons Court.

Comments about the proposal and traffic study will also be accepted by writing (2198 Edison Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32204-2730) or electronically. These comments will be accepted until Jan. 24.

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