If you thought the big Interstate-10, Interstate-95 expansions around Downtown Jacksonville would finally be finished when the Fuller Warren Bridge project is completed, think again.
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The Florida Department of Transportation is preparing to begin construction on a $148 million expansion project that will widen Interstate-10 to ten lanes between the Fuller Warren Bridge and Interstate-295.
FDOT spokesman Hampton Ray says the project is scheduled to begin toward the end of the year and will take up to five years to complete.
“The good thing about this project is the construction is taking place within the right of way. So there’s not going to be any parcels being purchased,” said Ray.
The new lanes will be constructed off to the side of the existing roadway.
Ray said Interstate-10 is currently between six and eight lanes – depending on the stretch of highway in the area. After the expansion, the current design shows that there will be up to 11 lanes in spots where what’s known as auxiliary lanes will be built. Those are the spots where motorists enter and exit the interstate.
Unlike some other recent expansions, there will be no toll lanes or express lanes as part of the project. All ten lanes will be general traffic lanes, according to Hampton.
He said a lot of the construction on the project will take place overnight to minimize the impact on motorists.
“What motorists can expect is just some barrier wall to the side of the roadway to allow construction crews to safely work," he said.
There are no major traffic flow changes planned such as removing or adding an exit, but motorists may notice some entry/exit improvements once construction is complete. Hampton said there could still be a few minor design tweaks before the project completed.
Ray said the Interstate-10 corridor between Interstate-295 and Interstate-10 currently handles about 105,000 vehicles per day and as you reach the downtown split, it’s even higher. “At that spaghetti junction there at Stockton Street, the average daily vehicle traffic is actually 137,000 vehicles per day,” said Hamnpton.
Hampton also pointed out the expansion is critical because Interstate-10 is an evacuation route during severe weather.
When completed, Hampton said the view for motorists will also be improved.
“There's going to be some beautification as a part of this,” Hampton said, pointing out that the engineering team is designing in aesthetic hardscaping. “So that's always something that, you know, [is] certainly a positive thing for the surrounding community.”
Additional information about the expansion is available on the Florida Department of Transportation's website.