Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians that use the Independent Drive ramp to the Main Street Bridge will have to find another route starting Thursday.
The ramp is being permanently closed on April 15 for demolition.
Motorists that previously used the ramp will have to head over to W. Bay Street and then turn left onto Main Street.
During construction, the west pedestrian sidewalk of the bridge will also be closed.
“Pedestrians and bicyclists will have to be detoured to the east side. They can do that by either going to Bay Street, if they're on the Northbank, they'll go to Bay Street and then over to Newnan Street and take the on ramp from Independent Drive on the east side of the bridge. If you're on the Southbank, you won't really see too much of an impact. You'll just take the crossover at Riverplace Boulevard,” said Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Hampton Ray.
When the demolition is finished, the west side pedestrian sidewalk will be reopened. The $584,000 project is expected to be wrapped up in the fall.
Ray told WJCT News that the city has committed to building a new pedestrian-only ramp reconnecting the bridge to Independent Drive at some point. But that part of the project isn't firmed up yet. “I haven’t seen any particular plans,” Ray said.
WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record has previously reported that three national firms have been selected to compete in a riverfront park design competition for what is currently a grassy public area next to the ramp.
The future of the old Landing site and how a new pedestrian ramp will tie into it isn’t known yet, but based on current Downtown Investment Authority planning, at least part of the former Landing site is likely to remain a park-like public space.
The ramp demolition project follows the 2019 demolition of The Jacksonville Landing, which was next to the ramp. City leaders have been talking since at least 2014 about the idea of demolishing the ramp with visions of redeveloping the immediate area.
In the interim, the former Landing site is being called Riverfront Plaza and is being used for public events such as the Jax River Jam Concert Series.