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Latest from Tim Tompkins

    Progress continues for commuters in St. Johns for the final segment that will connect SR-9B to St. Johns Parkway with overpasses at Race Track Road, Durbin Creek and Russell Sampson Road. This will allow access directly onto SR-9B, giving a direct route on the I-295 Beltway. Starting Friday, August 11th drivers traveling south on St. Johns Parkway between Russell Sampson Road and North Arabella way will shift to the recently completed lanes on the northbound east side of the road. Bicycle lanes will also shift onto the northbound lanes. Both southbound and northbound lanes will be cut down to one lane of travel during the half mile stretch of St. Johns Parkway. While progress is being made, completion of this third and final stage isn’t scheduled for completion until next summer.
  • Severe weather during the early morning commute caused damage to an on-ramp connected to the First Coast Expressway’s North project. Emergency construction began immediately and is expected to last a week, with the ramp reopening on Monday April 10.  A detour has been issued during the ramp closure. Westbound traffic on Normandy will not be able to exit onto SR-23, instead drivers will need to exit off Normandy onto New World Avenue south and continue that to 103rd St.  The $45 million First Coast Expressway project from I-10 to Beaver St will connect access to I-10 from the distribution centers of Publix and Winn-Dixie. 
  •   More headaches for Southside drivers planned this evening for continued work on the I-95 / JTB Interchange Improvement project. Lane closures on I-95 NB at Butler will last from 8pm through 11pm, and then at 11, motorists will be detoured off of I-95 onto Butler Blvd. Drivers can turn around at Belfort to get back on I-95 NB. Overnight construction planned on I-95 NB at Butler, this evening from 8pm through 5am tomorrow #WokvTraffic pic.twitter.com/zdWeNclkZW — Tim Tompkins (@RadioTimNBA) January 10, 2017 Construction is expected to end by 5am just in time for morning drive. The $67 Million Dollar construction project is scheduled to wrap up in late May, schedule permitting of course.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation hopes 2017 will become known as the 'Year of the Express Lanes' to Jacksonville residents. Started in 2014, an $89 million dollar project began adding express lanes to the I-295 West Beltway between the Buckman Bridge and I-95. Originally, the project was slated for completion in late 2016. However, FDOT Public Information Officer Ray Hampton says this portion of the project will not wrap up until fall of 2017. Express lanes give drivers the option of either using the tolled lanes or the free ones they are already using. When we asked the reason for the delay, Ray cited unexpected weather and scheduling conditions for the contractor. FDOT is informing drivers of the new timetable via blue signage through the Mandarin area. The express lanes of the I-295 W Beltway between I-95 and the @BuckmanBridge are scheduled for completion in 2017. #WokvTraffic @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/OJAQqhUHuS — Tim Tompkins (@RadioTimNBA) December 12, 2016 “FDOT is rolling out a campaign to educate the public on how to use the express lanes and why they will benefit the community,” Ray says. A poll of drivers in Miami released by the FDOT gave a 71% satisfaction rating on the recently installed express lanes in their area. Ray cites that many drivers enjoy express lanes because they give a predictable commute while simultaneously easing the congestion on the normal lanes. FDOT is hopeful the express lanes will ease congestion for Orange Park and Mandarin drivers on the I-295 West Beltway. FDOT Express Lanes Drivers will need to purchase a Sun Pass in order to use the express lanes and the price of the tolls will automatically be deducted from their accounts. The second phase of the express lanes - on the I-295 East Beltway between SR-9B and Butler Boulevard - remain on schedule for completion in 2019. That is a $139.9 million dollar contract.
  • Improvements for the Main Street Bridge Downtown are scheduled tonight. This will close the Main Street Bridge to all vehicles and pedestrians, as well as boaters who will be unable to pass through the channel underneath. The work is part of a larger improvement project scheduled to wrap up next spring.  Improvements to the Main Street Bridge include new heating and air conditioning units, sanitary sewer lines, closed-circuit television cameras for live traffic viewing, and replacement of the entire electrical system, among others. The Main Street Bridge closes tonight at 6:30pm and will reopen Thursday morning at 6am. Commuters can use the Acosta Bridge, into and out of Downtown, as their alternate.
  • Headaches for Southside drivers scheduled overnight on Wednesday through 11pm and 5am on Thursday morning, weather permitting.  The welcome news for drivers is the I-95/Butler interchange project is in it’s final stage. I-95 NB traffic will be detoured onto Butler Blvd EB where drivers will turn around at Belfort and merge back on to I-95 NB at Butler. The lane closures are for crews installing bridge beam connections to the Butler Blvd two-lane 1,400ft flyover bridge in the hopes of easing traffic exiting off I-95 SB onto Butler Blvd EB. The $67 million dollar project began December 2014 and is scheduled for completion in early 2017. The entire project includes resurfacing of Butler Blvd between Philips and Belfort, reconstructing the I-95 NB off ramp to Butler allowing traffic to exit both east and west, a new I-95 NB off-ramp from Butler, a new flyover from I-95 SB onto Butler Blvd EB and replacing the traffic signals on Butler Blvd at Philips Hwy. The goal is to ease traffic on Butler from Belfort to I-95 and I-95 SB exiting off onto Butler Blvd.
  • Revitalizing and restoring Downtown while preserving the original structure, the Newnan St/Hubbard Street Bridge in the historic Springfield District of Downtown reopened this week. The initial structure was built over 80 years ago, in 1929, by Henry J. Klutho. Construction crews were able to preserve the original structure of the bridge by removing parts at the start of construction and reapplying them when construction was coming to completion. The bridge has notable significance to Jacksonville as it’s eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic places. A bridge that runs parallel to the newly reconstructed bridge is a remarkable display of before and after. Seen below, the newly constructed bridge looked much like this one. During the project- crews rebuilt roadway approaches, a new bridge deck and reconditioned existing bike pathways. The bridge connects downtown to the Confederate Park which features basketball courts, a dog park and a playground The total cost of the reconstruction was $1.5 million and took nearly 7 months to complete.
  • FDOT continues to make safety improvements on the southside, and those improvements lead to overnight road closures this week. Monday and Wednesday from 11pm to 6:30am, the Butler Blvd eastbound ramp to northbound Southside Blvd is closed. Drivers will need to make a U-turn on eastbound Butler at Gate Pkwy and use the Butler WB ramp to northbound Southside Blvd. On Tuesday and Thursday from 11pm to 6:30am, westbound Butler Blvd to southbound Southside Blvd will detour to northbound Southside Blvd where drivers will need to make a U-turn at Gate Pkwy back onto southbound Southside Blvd.
  • Tim Tompkins

    Lead Traffic Anchor

    Tim Tompkins has been with WOKV since 2014. He is the lead Traffic Anchor on Jacksonville’s Morning News and weekend expert show host on Saturdays between 12pm-3pm for the Consumer Law Hour, Q&A With JEA and Ask the Doctor. Outside of the WOKV studio, you can find Tim collecting vinyl, watching basketball or playing with his dog Sophie.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Ten sailors are missing and five are injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided with an oil and chemical tanker early Monday. >> Read more trending news The USS John S. McCain collided with the 'Alnic MC' at 6:24 a.m. in the Strait of Malacca off the coast of Singapore in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The USS John S. McCain sustained damage to its left rear side. The Navy said the ship has significant hull damage, and the crew berths, machinery and communications rooms were flooded, according to The Associated Press. Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America are helping with search and rescue efforts, officials said. Tug boats and coast guard vessels are also helping. The ship is named for both McCain Sr. and Jr. who served in the Navy. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Whitten, 33, and his live-in girlfriend Jeryn Johnson, 25, are charged with torture and child abuse after authorities said Whitten’s 5-year-old son was discovered with severe injuries and living in filth among 15 animals, reports KGTV. >> Watch the news report here The police and fire departments in Murrieta, California, reportedly discovered the boy when they responded to a call for medical aid. The boy was airlifted to a San Diego County hospital, where he currently remains in “grave condition.” The injuries, which police said were caused by Whitten and Johnson, were unspecified beyond this. >> On Rare.us: YouTube parent-pranksters who lost custody of their children are now facing jail time KGTV reported that the home was said to be in “extremely unsanitary” conditions. Animal control removed “11 dogs, four cats and two fish.” “I didn’t even know there was a child who lived in the house,” neighbor Kristine Hendrickson told KCAL. “Did not know. We’ve lived here for 21 years.” >> Read more trending news The boy reportedly hadn’t been seen since Christmas of last year.
  • If you have not gotten a pair of glasses to view Monday’s solar eclipse, you are not alone.Retail stores and online outlets across the country have reported that supplies are low or nonexistent in the hours before the 2017 solar eclipse.If you haven’t secured a pair, there are a few things you can do to safely watch the eclipse.Here are some tips. Is there any way to still get glasses?Some vendors may have a few pairs left, but they are going fast. Click here to find the American Astronomical Society’s list of approved glasses sellers. Many libraries are hosting events. Click here to see an updated list from NASA. The libraries will have glasses for the event. Scientific societies are holding viewing events as well, and they will likely have some glasses to give out.What if I don’t have glasses?You do not have to have glasses to watch an eclipse. Read what NASA says about it:“The safest and most inexpensive method of viewing an eclipse is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening. Projected images of the sun may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. Binoculars can also be used to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card, but you must avoid the temptation of using these instruments for direct viewing.”For those who missed school the day astrophysics was taught, here’s what that means:You can take something as common as a shoe box to make a device that will let you watch the eclipse without looking directly at the sun; you can actually use your fingers to view the eclipse; you can stand underneath a tree and see a cool display that reflects through the leaves; you can use binoculars to project the sun’s image on a white card, but do not look at the sun with them. Don’t ever.So what if you can’t get a pair of glasses?If you can’t get glasses for the cosmic block party, start gathering some common supplies.From NASA, here’s how to make a pinhole viewer. You can also make a pinhole camera. Click here to see how to make the device that lets light pass through a hole and project an image of the sun onto a light surface. Can I look at the sun at any time during the eclipse?You can look at the sun during the eclipse while wearing certified eclipse glasses, welding glass (level 14) or other filters. You can look at the sun without the protection ONLY during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blocks out the sun. Only look at the sun without glasses if you live in the area of totality – a narrow strip of the country where the sun will be completely blocked out.For the rest in the area where the sun is only partially blocked out, keep the glasses on. Do not look at the partially blocked sun without them.So what if I do look at the sun without protection?You could, and likely will, damage your retina, leading to vision damage.What if I want to see it, but not go out to look at it?No problem, all the major networks, and cable channels will be carrying the eclipse live. ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, Fox and other cable outlets have plans to broadcast the progress of the eclipse across the country.NASA will livestream the eclipse starting at 1 p.m. ET. NASA plans views from balloons, satellites, and telescopes. What about taking a photo? Will it damage my iPhone?The eclipse won't damage your phone's camera, according to c/net. C/net’s post explains how to use your iPhone or an Android phone to capture the eclipse.
  • After two Jacksonville officers were shot on the Westside, support has been flooding social media. FULL STORY: Two JSO officers shot Government officials: Law enforcement:
  • The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park in Dekalb County, Georgia, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year. >> Read more trending news Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would have been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving. “We will light our cross and 20 minutes later we will be gone,” wrote Hobbs, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, in an application dated May 26. It wasn’t immediately clear if Hobbs holds a formal position with the group. >> Related: George H.W., George W. Bush condemn ‘racial bigotry’ in Charlottesville statement “We don’t want any of these groups at the park, quite frankly,” John Bankhead, spokesman for the association said Wednesday, referring to white nationalists groups and the KKK. “This is a family-oriented park.”  But since it’s a public park, the association created a permit process to consider each application individually. In a statement, the memorial group, which oversees the park, said it “condemns the beliefs and actions of the Ku Klux Klan and believes the denial of this Public Assembly request is in the best interest of all parties.” >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in CharlottesvilleWriting to deny Hobbs, CEO Bill Stephens cited the trouble at the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally of April 23, 2016. The park had to close that day as white power revelers, including KKK members, clashed with counter-protesters. Stephens said an event like Hobbs’ would require public safety resources beyond what park police could provide, and thus, would put guests, employees and public safety workers in danger.  Besides creating a potentially-dangerous scene, the cross-burning would’ve also been an act of intimidation, Bankhead said. >> Related: University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak “I think anybody who knows about cross burning knows why it’s used,” Bankhead said, recalling the KKK’s track record of setting crosses on fire to intimidate African Americans. “We’re just not going to allow that.” Georgia's terroristic threats and acts statute also specifically bars the practice when it’s done with the intent to “terrorize.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that states can ban cross-burning, though it warned that the intent to intimidate must be proven in each case. Whatever Hobbs’ intent, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO said the event would violate its ordinances against disruptions to the park and actions that present a “clear and present danger.”

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