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Jacksonville, FL (December 24, 2021) – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced a Hybrid Public Hearing regarding major improvements to I-95, Baymeadows Rd, and Southside Blvd.  This Public Hearing will be held in a hybrid format, allowing for both virtual and in-person attendance, on Thursday, January 13th, 2022, at the FDOT Jacksonville Urban Office Training Center located at 2198 Edison Ave Jacksonville, FL 32204.  The Public Hearing will begin as an Open House portion will begin at 4:00pm, followed by a formal presentation at 4:30pm, and a reply of the presentation at 6:00pm.

Interstate 95 is the major north-south corridor not only for Duval County but for the entire East Coast of the United States, allowing for transit of commuters and freight from seaports and airports up and down the coast.  The last major widening of I-95 occurred in 1999, but with the increase in population over the last 20 years, combined with projected population increase and usage of I-95, there is a need to further widen it.  To assist in identifying changes, a Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) study was performed.  The PD&E is the formal process that develops and compares alternatives to determine a preferred action that meets project needs, while minimizing impacts to the social, natural, cultural, and physical environment.

“Jacksonville is growing, and with that growth FDOT and the state have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our county over the past several years,” Council Member Becton explained. “In the next ten years, the improvements on I-95 will be substantial, and along with those improvements, Baymeadows Road will get the upgrades for which I worked with FDOT to design,” Council Member Becton added. “The improvements from Old Baymeadows Road to Western Way were all part of the capacity improvements mitigating the impact from added new homes within the Old Baymeadows Golf Course Community, along with a new traffic light at Baymeadows Circle West,” Council Member Becton continued. “In addition to those changes, FDOT added the interchange redesign which will improve the traffic flow and capacity for that area dramatically.”

The proposal calls for implementing five general use lanes and one auxiliary use lane for merging and departing traffic at interchanges from J. Turner Butler Blvd. to Atlantic Blvd.  South of JTB, FDOT is proposing widening I-95 to four lanes in each direction, as well as adding auxiliary lanes where needed, to meet projected population growth.  In addition to widening I-95, the PD&E study also proposes changes to Philips Highway and Baymeadows Rd.  The proposed changes within District 11 would include flow of traffic changes to and from I-95 and changes to the current configuration of the interchanges in the district to improve safety and alleviate traffic.  These improvements include:

  • Converting the Baymeadows Rd intersection to a Diverging Diamond interchange.
  • Widening I-95 from I-295 and Southside Blvd up through J. Turner Blvd to four 12-foot travel lanes in each direction.
  • Improvements on traffic operations on Baymeadows Rd from Baymeadows Way to Old Baymeadows Rd.
  • Philips Highway Interchange improvements.
  • Belle Rive Blvd at Southside intersection improvements.
  • Installation of Noise Barriers at qualified locations.

The purpose of this Public Hearing is to give all interested persons and opportunity to express their views concerning the location and conceptual design as well as social, economic, and environmental effects of the proposed improvements.  There will be several options offered for the public to participate, to include in-person and a virtual/online option.  Regardless of the format selected, the same information will be put out on the proposed changes and all comments received in-person or electronically will be addressed and included in the record.  Persons wishing to submit a written statement may also do so at the time of the hearing or email/mail them prior to 1/24/2022 to have them included in the record.  For more information, the public is directed to contact Michael Brock, PE, Project Manager at 386-961-7707 or email Mr. Brock at [email protected]

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By Joe Johnson, District 11 Executive Council Assistant and CM Danny Becton.