Construction nearing for First Coast Expressway bridge

Published on May 11, 2023 at 3:58 pm

Here’s a chance to learn more about the new bridge planned between Clay and St. Johns counties.

The Florida Department of Transportation will explain the project during an open house May 23. Residents from both sides of the St. Johns River can preview plans for construction, which is expected to start this month and finish in 2030, the FDOT said.

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The open house will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Clay County Supervisor of Elections Office at 500 N. Orange Ave. in Green Cove Springs. Staff will be available to answer questions in person, online at or by phone at (415) 655-0060, access code 677-379-051.

The bridge is part of the First Coast Expressway project, a multilane, limited-access toll road that will ultimately connect parts of Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties. Segments from Blanding Boulevard to Argyle Boulevard have already been done, as well as north past Interstate 10 to West Beaver Street.


The 46-mile roadway is designed to reduce congestion for commuters in a rapidly growing area, as well as those headed away from the coast during storm-related evacuations.

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The 9,300-foot bridge — just under 2 miles long — will include dual 12-foot wide travel lanes in each direction with 12-foot wide outside shoulders and a shared-use path on the northbound side for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The bridge will have a 65-foot vertical clearance to help marine commerce. Drivers will have a 70 mph speed limit.

The bridge will be built just north of the existing Shands Bridge on State Road 16, which will be partly demolished.

The design-build team of WGI, Inc., Johnson Bros. Corp. and American Bridge have been selected to complete the project at a cost of about $595 million.

You can read about the First Coast Expressway here.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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