JTB, Gate Parkway Intersection Ranks High On City Council’s Transportation Project Wish List

May 21, 2018

The Jacksonville City Council will vote Tuesday on which projects should get priority to be considered by the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization.

Then comes the hard part — finding funding for them.

Every year the city ranks projects like intersection redesigns and bike lanes, even trail improvements. Then the North Florida TPO regional transportation planners consider whether those priorities make its list, which includes projects from Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties too.

But making the cut doesn’t mean the projects will get done this upcoming year because most of them are unfunded.

The city is voting to submit 22 projects for the TPO’s consideration. Only seven on the list are brand new projects.

The federal government requires areas developed around cities with 50,000 or more people to have a metropolitan planning organization, like the North Florida TPO,  to coordinate planning and funding.

For instance, the project ranked as Duval’s top priority — an intersection redesign at J Turner Butler Boulevard and Gate Parkway — was fifth on Duval’s list back in 2016. Lots of others on the lists are repeats too.

This year, though, the Gate Parkway redesign is one of seven Duval projects already funded for construction.

After City Council submits its list to the TPO for its consideration, the planning organization will then look to get state funding for the ones it selects.

A spokeswoman with the TPO said many people don’t realize a project can take more than a decade from concept to completion, depending on factors like funding or environmental issues.

Here’s the project list that City Council will vote on:

Roadway Capacity Improvements

  • J Turner Butler Blvd. and Gate Parkway - Intersection Redesign, funded for construction.
  • National Cemetery Rd . - New two-lane alignment from Lannie Rd. to Arnold Rd., funded for construction.
  • J Turner Butler Blvd. and San Pablo Rd. - Interchange redesign and Diverging Diamond, funded for construction.
  • I-95 and Baymeadows Rd.- Interchange ramp improvements, funded for construction.
  • I-295 and Collins Rd.- Interchange redesign, funded for construction.
  • Southside Blvd. and Gate Parkway - Intersection redesign, funded for construction.
  • Southside Blvd. and Deerwood Park Blvd. - Intersection redesign, funded for construction.
  • Bay Street, Hart Bridge ramp revitalization project- Bring to street level.
  • Timuquana Rd. and 103rd St.- Protected bike lanes, reduction of land widths, add pedestrian improvements such as high-visibility crosswalks from Roosevelt Blvd to Blanding Blvd.
  • Edgewood Avenue S. - Three-lane roadway, add protected bike lanes, add pedestrian improvements such as high-visibility crosswalks from Roosevelt Blvd to Cassatt Ave., new project.
  • Chaffee Rd.- Design for 18 wheelers, provide for pedestrian facilities from Old Plank Road to I-10.
  • Zoo Parkway, Heckscher Dr. - Add features to support Core to Coast trail during resurfacing project from Main St. to Ferry entrance.
  • Baldwin truck stop - Add freight maneuverability from I-10 to SR 302, new project.
  • Southside Blvd. and Baymeadows Rd.- Intersection redesign.
  • Blanding Blvd. and Argyle Forest Blvd. - Safety project and intersection redesign, new project.
  • Lem Turner Rd.- Safety improvements and lane widening from I-295 to Duval County line, new project.
  • Philips Highway- Safety project adding sidewalks, bike lanes from Greenland Rd. to Southside Blvd., new project.
  • Normandy Blvd.- Lane widening, buffered bike lanes and sidewalks from Equestrian Center to US  301, new project.

Tie Into Resurfacing Projects

  • Edgewood Ave./Tallulah Ave.- Protected bike lanes, reduction of land widths and pedestrian improvements such as high-visibility crosswalks.
  • Lem Turner Rd./ Norwood Ave.- Provide bike lanes, construct sidewalk improvements, create buffer areas/
  • Normandy Blvd.- Protected bike lane, pedestrian safety improvements, new project.

Sun Trails Project Priorities

  • Timucuan Trail - 12’ paved multi-use path, bridge with amenities from Huguenot Park to Fort George River.

  Photo used under Creative Commons.

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