The Florida Transportation Department is studying the feasibility of adding express toll lanes on I-95 in both directions between J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Atlantic Boulevard.
That means just as several huge highway construction projects are expected to wrap up, more could be waiting in the wings.
Department spokesman Hampton Ray says the toll amount would vary depending on how many people are using the lanes, and they’d be accessible as a pass-through in the area only by using a SunPass transponder.
“Our goal is always to keep the express lanes at around 45 mph. During peak times right now, the average speed on that stretch of road is less than 20 mph,” he said. “So we think that this is really going to be an innovative way to increase capacity on the roadway and increase the speeds during that time.”
If the project is approved, construction is expected to start in the year 2022. The interior lanes would be added to existing lanes, requiring a widening of the road. Next steps after the study phase include potentially purchasing private property along I-95 to accommodate the expansion. See more about the project on the department's website.
Meanwhile, four other highway projects are scheduled to wrap up relatively soon:
- The JTB flyover at I-95 is set to finish within the next “couple of months,” Ray said.
- The Overland Bridge construction on I-95 in downtown Jacksonville is set to finish by the end of this year.
- New express toll lanes on I-295 between the Buckman Bridge and I-95 should be done by the end of this year. he long-term goal, Ray says, is to add the express lanes to the entire I-295 loop around Jacksonville.
- Work on the Main Street Bridge is set to wrap up in fall of this year. The bridge will be closed for work overnight on Thursdays through Sundays through Monday, May 22.
The FDOT is promoting the idea of express lanes in Northeast Florida with this video: