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Jacksonville Mayor Asks Duval Lawmakers For Hart Expressway Improvements

Ryan Benk
Mayor Lenny Curry talking plans to modify the Hart Expressway ramps close to Everbank Field.

After convincing state lawmakers to approve a pension sales-tax extension, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has a new request for Tallahassee: cash to rebuild a portion of the Hart Expressway.

Curry said the ramps near Everbank Field are from a bygone era.

As Curry told the Duval Legislative Delegation, the on and off ramps to the Hart Expressway are hazardous and impede traffic flow on Bay Street.

At City Hall, Curry pointed to a high-resolution satellite photo printed on cardstock.

“This is a relic of the past that served a purpose at that point in time,” Curry said. “When this ramp was built, there was no Bay Street. I... Again the purpose was to be able to get — when we were in the ship business — those ships under here through the units that pulled them over. (It’s) outdated, served its purpose, (and) time to move on.”

Curry said the 50 year old ramps are in poor shape, and they don’t have emergency lanes. He wants them knocked down and built into a seamless connection with Bay Street.  

He estimates the project will cost the state a total of $50 million, which will have to be approved by the Legislature. The expressway is managed by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Curry’s office is still crunching numbers to see how much the project may cost the city.

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at, at (904) 358 6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.