FDOT: New express lanes on West Beltway now expected to be completed in Spring of 2019

Jacksonville FL — It’s a construction project you’ve been seeing on your drive through Mandarin for more than four years, The Florida Department of Transportation says the project to add two new express lanes in both directions from I-95 to the Buckman Bridge is now expected to be done in the Spring of 2019. Originally construction started on the project in late 2014 and was originally supposed to be done in late 2016.

“It’s a complex project that requires a lot of intricate details and information.” Hampton Ray, spokesperson for FDOT says.

WOKV checked in with FDOT to see what was causing the delay and they say weather is one of the major factors. They also hinted that there were some issues with the contractor and stopped short of saying what specifically those issues are. We have reached out to the contractor for a comment and we are waiting to hear back, we have also requested the original copy of the contract to see what's caused the completion timeline to be pushed back and we'll bring you an update once we hear back.

Ray says they meet regularly with the contractors during the project and he says once the project is done FDOT will discuss any changes that were made during the process.

“We review every project when its completed and we look at different decisions that were made, whether they were good decisions or bad decisions.” Ray says.

He says the review is in place to make sure tax payers get the most value for their money.

There is still work that needs to be done, Ray says crews still need to add plastic poles that are designed to separate the tolled lanes from the new express lanes, test out the new toll system, and do some more asphalt work. He says speeds during the peak of drive time right now on the West Beltway, from I-95 to the Buckman Bridge, are less than 10 miles per hour. He says once the express lanes open FDOT is expecting those speeds to double during the peak of drive time.

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