Q: Jacksonville Today reader Ken D. has a question about a Florida Department of Transportation road project that has blocked part of an Arlington Expressway service road since early April.
“The repair has been going on for a couple of months, and it isn’t a typical road ‘tear-out-and-replace process,’ from what I can tell as I drive by each morning,” he said. “It’s just a short section of access road, but a major effort is being expended for some reason.”
A: FDOT spokesperson Briana Ray-Turner said the work is part of a resurfacing project on Arlington Expressway from Mathews Bridge to Southside Boulevard. The $26 million project includes resurfacing of the expressway and service roads with traffic signal upgrades and median improvements.
The project includes removal of the eastbound expressway ramp to Colcord Avenue, drainage work, sidewalk repairs and concrete work at Cesery Boulevard. In addition, the specific part of the project Ken described focuses on the bridge over Red Bay Branch on the south side service road, which is being rehabilitated as well as the north side.
FDOT initially said the work at Red Bay Branch would be done by now. But Mother Nature delayed that a bit, Ray-Turner said.
“This past weekend, concrete placement was done, and what’s left is the resurfacing of the deck,” she told Jacksonville Today. “Concrete is a temperature-sensitive product. Due in part to cold temperatures, the work is not expected to be completed until March, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting.”
The ramp and bridge work has forced drivers into a 4-mile detour, especially those who live in an apartment complex on the affected service road.
For some, it means using southbound Arlington Road to Atlantic Boulevard, then east before turning north on Century Street and west on the South Service Road to access Red Bay Apartments. Other drivers have to detour via the eastbound South Service Road, then south on Southside Boulevard, west on Atlantic Boulevard and up Arlington Road to the Arlington Expressway.
The Arlington Expressway has remained open to traffic in both directions during the project. It handles an average of 54,000 vehicles a day, FDOT says.
The overall repaving project, including new signs, improved pavement markings and pedestrian safety upgrades, should be done this summer, Ray-Turner said.
Speaking of state roadways, FDOT said that some lighting issues on and near the Dames Point Bridge are being investigated. Some readers have noticed flickering spotlights on the bridge between Northside and Arlington, as well as inoperative street lights. FDOT spokesman Hampton Ray said “crews are actively working to address lighting outages along the I-295 beltway.” The work is expected to be completed over the next several weeks.