The aggravation of gridlock through the Southside could, in the near future, be a thing of the past. FDOT is planning on putting in 2 tolled express lanes on I-95 in both directions in between JTB and Atlantic BLVD. FDOT says they hope the new lanes will ease congestion through the area.
“The science backs it, it’s that, adding express lanes along this particular corridor, would see a benefit for the community and increase travel speeds.” Hampton Ray with FDOT says.
FDOT says the tolls will be collected through SunPass and the rates will be based on how much traffic is in the express lanes. Two addition tolled express lanes will be available on the North and Southbound sides of I-95 on the far left side of the interstate and the decision will be up to you if want to use them.
Its seems as through construction never ends on 95 through the Southside.
“The construction is just a temporary, inconvenience for a more permanent transportation solution.” Ray says.
Construction on the project isn’t expected to start until the Spring of 2022, and the project is expected to cost $316 million.
Before FDOT moves forward with their plans to expand I-95 they need to get more of the public’s input. Today at the Marriott on Salisbury Rd. in Jacksonville, FDOT will be holding a public hearing starting at 4:30.
Currently express lanes are already being built in Jacksonville in between on the West Beltway in between the Buckman Bridge and I-95, and on the East Beltway in between State Road 9B and JTB. The potential I-95 tolled express lanes work like the ones going in on the beltway. The West beltway lanes are expected to open this Summer, and the East Beltway lanes are expected to open in the Spring of 2019.
In addition to the tolled express lanes already being installed in Jacksonville, Hampton Ray says FDOT is looking into adding more of them along I-95 into St. Johns County from I-295 all the way down to International Golf Parkway.
“In that particular corridor has seen a tremendous boom in terms of population growth, so really our goal is to manage the population growth.” Ray says.
There is no timetable for when that project would begin.
Once the study on the tolled express lanes is certified the next step will be getting the land needed along the sides of I-95.
“That can either,be, be quick or take, ya know, take some time based on the complexity of the project.” Ray says.
According to FDOT 46 residents may be relocated as part of the project as well as 7 businesses.