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Curvy, Accident-Prone Avondale Road To Get Solar-Paneled Safety Markers

Florida Department of Transportation
FDOT crews install solar road markers in Florida.

Jacksonville’s Avondale neighborhood is the first place where state road crews are testing out brighter safety markers in Northeast Florida. Winding St. Johns Avenue is set to get the new solar-powered devices next week.

Credit Florida Department of Transportation
The markers will be installed along St. Johns Avenue from Van Wert Avenue to Greenwood Avenue.

What the state Department of Transportation calls “internally illuminated retroreflective pavement markers” will soon line the middle and edges of a particularly dangerous section of the road, close to the the Herschel Street intersection.

“From about 2010 to 2014 there were about 56 crashes on that S-curve,” said Bianca Speights, Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The section is less than half a mile long, from Van Wert Avenue to Greenwood Avenue, and it borders Boone Park, a choice spot for neighborhood kids.

Credit Florida Department of Transportation
The internally illuminated retroreflective pavement markers will drink up sun during the day and illuminate.

Speights said the reflective markers will also drink up sun during the day and illuminate.

“That means it’s just going to be a brighter path, so we’re hoping to increase the visibility for folks driving,” Speights said.

The department will monitor crash rates to see if they’re effective. She said FDOT has only just recently installed them in a couple other areas of the state.

“Hopefully if it does work in that area, maybe there will be some other areas that might be eligible for the installation of the same product,” Speights said.

Installation is set for Monday, Aug. 14, depending on the weather. The project could take two or three weeks. Lanes will be closed during non-peak times until the work is done.

The federally-funded project is estimated to cost about $100,000.

Watch as crews install the markers on another Florida road:

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.