Jacksonville, FL — The Hart Bridge ramps in Downtown Jacksonville could be completely gone within the next three years.
A new timeline from the City of Jacksonville shows they hope to have construction on the $37.5 million project completely done by the end of 2021. The current goal is to begin design and construction in the first quarter of next year. This year will be spent soliciting and ranking bids, negotiating with high ranking Design-Build Teams, and ultimately awarding the project in the 4th Quarter of 2019.
The project is being funded a third each by the City of Jacksonville, Florida Department of Transportation, and US Department of Transportation.
FULL COVERAGE: Hart Bridge ramp removal project
There are several goals behind the ramp demolition, as outlined in grant proposals submitted by the City for funding for the project, but it all mainly stems from a desire to promote economic development. As the ramps stand now, the City argues they bring traffic over and past and area that they want to instead send traffic to, in order to sustain new development like shops and restaurants. The visual of the ramps is also an impediment, according to Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who the City is negotiating with as the master developer of the Shipyards property. In addition to the Shipyards, Khan has previously put forward a vision for a redevelopment of the Sports Complex overall, but he says those projects depend on taking the ramps down.
The current design is to bring traffic from the Hart Bridge down to grade on Bay Street, which would be upgraded and widened. Around A. Philip Randolph, traffic would either continue on Bay or pick back up on the ramps to get closer to the center of Downtown. The project also includes adding a defined intersection at Bay and Gator Bowl Blvd, bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements, and more.