Curvy, Accident-Prone Avondale Road To Get Solar-Paneled Safety Markers

Aug 7, 2017

Jacksonville’s Avondale neighborhood is the first place where state road crews are testing out brighter safety markers in Northeast Florida. Winding St. Johns Avenue is set to get the new solar-powered devices next week.

The markers will be installed along St. Johns Avenue from Van Wert Avenue to Greenwood Avenue.
Credit Florida Department of Transportation

What the state Department of Transportation calls “internally illuminated retroreflective pavement markers” will soon line the middle and edges of a particularly dangerous section of the road, close to the the Herschel Street intersection.

“From about 2010 to 2014 there were about 56 crashes on that S-curve,” said Bianca Speights, Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The section is less than half a mile long, from Van Wert Avenue to Greenwood Avenue, and it borders Boone Park, a choice spot for neighborhood kids.

The internally illuminated retroreflective pavement markers will drink up sun during the day and illuminate.
Credit Florida Department of Transportation

Speights said the reflective markers will also drink up sun during the day and illuminate.

“That means it’s just going to be a brighter path, so we’re hoping to increase the visibility for folks driving,” Speights said.

The department will monitor crash rates to see if they’re effective. She said FDOT has only just recently installed them in a couple other areas of the state.

“Hopefully if it does work in that area, maybe there will be some other areas that might be eligible for the installation of the same product,” Speights said.

Installation is set for Monday, Aug. 14, depending on the weather. The project could take two or three weeks. Lanes will be closed during non-peak times until the work is done.

The federally-funded project is estimated to cost about $100,000.

Watch as crews install the markers on another Florida road:

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.