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Traffic woes for neighbors on Wells Creek Parkway have an end in sight

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Commuters on Philips Highway were met with unexpected delays Thursday morning, as off-duty officers closed off a lane in an effort to direct the flow of traffic from an intersecting road.

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Residents of the neighborhoods off of Wells Creek Parkway have been asking for a traffic light at the intersection for years.

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Photos sent to Action News Jax showed heavy congestion at the intersection of US 1 and Wells Creek Parkway, as off duty officers closed off a lane in their effort to direct the flow of traffic onto Philips Highway.

Harley Alvarez lives off of Wells Creek Parkway and says her husband’s morning commute should be about 10 minutes, but due to the lack of a traffic light at the intersection, he has to hit the road 30 minutes early to ensure he gets to work on time.

“It’s definitely difficult and it’s definitely a safety hazard for a lot of the families here, because it is a very family-oriented neighborhood. A lot of kids, buses coming in and out. It’s very hard for the buses to get out of the neighborhood, into the neighborhood safely,” said Alvarez.

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But there’s some good news for commuters and neighbors alike.

Councilmember Raul Arias (R-District 11), who represents the area, managed to secure $1.5 million to install a red light at this intersection in December.

“I know the community has been patient for the last several years, but like we said earlier, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we’re almost there,” said Arias.

However, the light won’t be ready to go until this December, mostly due to supply chain issues related to the limited number of manufacturers that make traffic lights.

Read: Busy intersection at St. Johns/Duval County line may be getting upgrade to help with traffic

In the meantime, Arias noted he was able to secure an additional $25,000 to pay for off duty officers to help direct traffic in the mornings.

“For the first couple days they’re going to try different traffic patterns. Day number one, yesterday, you saw what happened,” said Arias.

Video shot Friday morning sent to Action News Jax shows on day two of the traffic operation, officers were able to keep all lanes on the highway open.

“Today, actually was a lot smoother. Less traffic so, I think they got the right traffic pattern and next week we’ll see a different traffic pattern to see which one works best for not just Wells Creek, but also the neighboring communities,” said Arias.

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Those officers will be out at the intersection directing traffic every weekday during the school year from 6 AM to 9 AM until the light is installed this December.

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