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Posted: 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

State to give $78 million for construction at I-95 and JTB

95 JTB Improvements
A chart explains where construction will start at the I-95/JTB interchange on three different projects aimed at eliminating congestion and bottlenecking during heavy traffic times.

By Matt Augustine


That extra money you pay in taxes at the gas pump?  Some of it’s being funneled into a project aimed at making your daily commute easier.

Governor Rick Scott stopped in Jacksonville Tuesday to announce $78 million going to three separate construction projects at I-95 and J. Turner Butler Boulevard that he hopes will eliminate congestion and bottlenecking at heavy traffic times.

"The cost in time and fuel are also in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In some cases, it's dangerous...I hope people either get to work, get home, get to a hospital faster," Scott said during a press conference at the Best Western on Salisbury Road right next to the JTB/I-95 interchange.

The money will be divided between a flyover ramp from 95 south right to JTB east, an overpass taking Butler west over Belfort Road, and a rebuild of the 95 north off ramp for direct access to JTB west.  For paramedics like Brandon Carter who might be taking a heart attack patient from downtown to the Mayo Clinic, that “golden hour” can be the difference between life and death.

"It's usually at least once a day that we have a high-risk patient that needs to be treated within that golden hour we were speaking of earlier to get that higher level of care that we run into congestion on 95 and traffic issues."

Construction starts in 2015 and will be paid for with gas tax revenue.

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