Paying to avoid traffic congestion will be an option for Jacksonville area motorists by the end of this year.
The Florida Department of Transportation is adding toll express lanes to Interstate 295, from the Buckman Bridge to the I-95 merger.
FLDOT spokesman Hampton Ray said they’re designed for commuters who don’t need to exit the highway.
“The express lanes are actually separated from regular, non-toll, general use lanes," he said. "Once you’re in the express lanes, you can’t get out.”
Motorists will need a Sun Pass to use the express lanes, as well the new First Coast
Expressway, which will eventually link I-95 in St. Johns County to I-10 in Duval County.
FLDOT spokeswoman Mary Justino said drivers can choose to use the toll road or not.
“There certainly is still access on the Westside of Jacksonville, down through Oakleaf and into Clay County, to use local access roads," she said. "We’re not cutting off access to any of those arteries.”
Phase one of the toll-road project involves State Road 23, from New World Avenue to State Road 21 in Middleburg. Construction should be completed by late fall.
Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at email@example.com, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews