The Florida Department of Transportation has committed to a $250,000 study of downtown access to and from the Hart Bridge.
Mayor Lenny Curry has been pushing for a rebuild to change the design and look of downtown Jacksonville.
In November he told the Duval Legislative Delegation that he would ask for $50 million from the state.
The study will include examining downtown access to and from the Hart Bridge, and an evaluation of the potential benefits of replacing a portion of the elevated western downtown access ramp with an at-grade solution that would add features to make it bike and pedestrian friendly.
"The ramps are a relic of the past, they’re from an era when the shipyards were active”, Mayor Curry told Jacksonville’s Morning News on Monday.
Curry says he expects to have answers from the study by the fall, at which point he will make the case with the state.
“I’m gonna wait to get the study back, that will give us more information. We put a number out a few months ago which not only included removing the ramps but included all the stuff you have to do in and around the ground level when you’re done”, Curry said.
Curry cited ongoing riverfront development efforts. A request for proposals to develop the land is expected to be returned in the next few weeks.
“There is no question that having traffic flow off that bridge right into the downtown area and riverfront area will not only make traffic flow better but it will also enhance the economic development on the riverfront”, said Curry.