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Local Agencies Seek $25M Federal Grant For Proposed Downtown Jacksonville Innovation Corridor

This video screengrab shows a conceptional rendering of the U2C autonomous vehicles that would be included as part of the Innovation Corridor Project.

Several local agencies are trying to get a $25 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund what’s been dubbed the Bay Street Innovation Corridor in Jacksonville.

The plan, estimated to cost $62.9 million, was put forward by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), the Jax Chamber, JEA and the City of Jacksonville. Those organizations came together and, on July 19, submitted an application for a $25 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant for the project.

Among other elements, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor would combine two initiatives that are currently in the works:

  1. JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) Program, which would deploy a fleet of 15 autonomous vehicles onto Jacksonville’s existing Skyway as well as expand the system to ground level locations such as the downtown sports complex. Once finished, the U2C is expected to carry approximately 2,500 passengers per day.
  2. TPO’s Integrated Data Exchange, which would use a network of sensors to provide new services like smart lighting systems, pedestrian sensors, a flood warning system, and a crime detection system.

The three-mile corridor would run along Bay Street from the under construction Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center across from the Prime Osborn Convention Center to TIAA Bank Field.
JEA and JTA have committed to contribute $13.9 million to the project. The private sector is expected to pay a minimum of $9.5 million. A state match is expected to provide $12.5 million. The remaining $2 million is expected to come from other federal sources.

Project Budget:

Bay Street Innovation Corridor budget and funding

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.