Jacksonville’s City Council approved one and a half million dollars to begin the work necessary to potentially demolish the elevated downtown expressway system connecting the Hart Bridge to downtown.
The council gave unanimous approval to proceed with Mayor Lenny Curry’s plan. Curry has told the Duval Legislative Delegation, the on and off ramps to the Hart Expressway are hazardous and impede traffic flow on Bay Street.
Curry originally said last year the project would make the area safer for commuters. The demolition also fits part of Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s vision for an ambitious waterfront development next to EverBank Field at what is known as The Shipyards.
Before approving it, the council amended the five year plan to start in 2018. The city is preparing to compete for $25 million in federal grant money for the nation’s critical infrastructure issues.
With the approved spending, the project will be “shovel ready,” which city officials say, improves their chances of getting federal money.