Today we answer two questions from Jacksonville Today newsletter readers about the roads leading from shopping centers in Jax.
Q: First, Brett D. wants to know why when he’s on I-295 north of the St. Johns Town Center exit, traffic seems to be at a constant standstill.
A: Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Hampton Ray says it’s no secret that Northeast Florida is one of the fastest-growing areas of the state.
“Congestion due to increased growth can be frustrating for drivers,” Ray says. So, road construction in that Town Center area, on I-295 between Butler Boulevard and Beach Boulevard, is expected to begin this summer. The $17.6 million project includes adding a lane in both directions along with drainage improvements, he says.
And more could be coming.
“Additional improvements to I-295 between Butler Boulevard and the Dames Point Bridge are being studied and evaluated for additional capacity,” Ray adds. “A recent planning, design and environmental study was completed along the corridor.” All in all, a proposed $283 million “capacity improvement project” is envisioned.
Q. Next up, reader Tiger M. says he’s lived in the Deercreek area for eight years and has seen Southside Boulevard go from bad to worse. “It was in pretty bad shape when we moved there and is practically a gravel road now,” he says.
He says he reached out to FDOT himself and found out there’s a plan to resurface the road near The Avenues mall, but not until closer to the end of this year.
He asks Jacksonville Today:
A: In response, FDOT spokesman Hampton Ray confirms resurfacing on Southside Boulevard from Philips Highway to Butler Boulevard is expected to begin this fall and should be completed in early 2025, “weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting.”
The project also includes intersection improvements at Deerwood Park and Southside boulevards, curb and gutter improvements, sidewalk repairs where needed, ADA ramp improvements and additional lighting.
When will the work start? Ray says the project is fully funded and is scheduled to be bid out for construction in June of this year. “Construction work typically begins 30 to 90 days thereafter, depending on material acquisition and other factors,” he says.
As to our reader’s comment about the state of the pavement now, Ray says, “I have shared these concerns directly with FDOT maintenance officials to address any deficiencies prior to the start of the resurfacing project later this year.”