Jacksonville Takes Next Step To Remove Hart Bridge Ramps

Nov 15, 2018

The city of Jacksonville will seek contractors in January to dismantle the elevated highway ramps that connect the Hart Bridge to Downtown. 

According to Mayor Lenny Curry’s office, the request for qualifications will be issued in January in the hope of securing a design-builder by the end of 2019. 

Our Jacksonville Daily Record news partner reports it’s one of several required steps before the city can start the project in the next two years.  

The Curry administration considers removing the elevated roads as necessary to improve freight traffic in the Talleyrand area. It also could benefit Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who wants to pursue a multibillion-dollar mixed-use project along the Downtown Northbank. 

City spokeswoman Tia Ford said the city is developing a design criteria package for the project, which will outline the technical and design requirements.

Contractors who respond to the RFQ will need to provide and explain their relevant experience, financial capacity to complete the project, examples of similar work and other information. 

A draft of the RFQ was not available. 

Contractors will be scored based on qualifications.

The top-scoring companies will be encouraged to submit responses to a request for proposals, which likely would be issued after July or August. 

Legislation was introduced Tuesday to Jacksonville City Council seeking to appropriate a $12.5 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. 

The funds match what’s been allocated in the city’s Capital Improvement Program.  

The city would remove a half-mile-long stretch of elevated roadways between A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and Festival Park Avenue. 

A new grade-level ramp will be installed near Festival Park Avenue for traffic entering and exiting the Hart Bridge. 

Another section of the expressway that routes traffic to and from Gator Bowl Boulevard and East Duval, Monroe, Adams and Forsyth streets would remain. 

The city also is pursuing a $12.5 million federal grant to begin a second phase eventually that would expand and widen East Bay Street. 

Curry’s Chief of Staff Brian Hughes said previously the project will begin with or without federal funding. 

Removing the highways and reconfiguring Gator Bowl Boulevard is estimated to take 18 months.  

“However, this time frame can be somewhat lengthened or shortened depending on the selected design-builder’s design and construction schedule response in its proposal,” Ford said. 

It is unclear when lane closures could begin.