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CM Becton attends FDOT Public Hearing regarding San Pablo and JTB Project

Jacksonville, FL (January 10, 2019) – Councilman Becton attended Florida Department of Transportation’s Public Hearing regarding its’ San Pablo and J Turner Butler interchange project. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposed plans of the area to residents and drivers and explain how it would improve safety and help the congestion on San Pablo.

The public hearing was held on Thursday, January 10th at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, off JTB and Hodges. It started at 4:30 p.m. and lasted till 6:30 p.m. FDOT is calling the project, a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), as explained in their handout. According to the handout, “its unique design, a DDI for short, improves mobility by eliminating conflict points for motorists seeking to turn left. In a DDI, drivers’ crossover to travel briefly on the left side of the road and then seamlessly return to the right side of the road just after the following intersection.

The DDI design improves safety and increases the traffic flow through the specific interchange. Additionally, the limited access right-of-way boundary at this interchange will be modified allowing motorists traveling along the westbound on-ramp to JTB to have an additional access point to ingress and egress from the Mayo Clinic.”

Councilman Becton said the project is part of a bill previously passed by City Council, JIA/CRA-2016-06, which allocated $7 million dollars from the JIA CRA to swap with a $7 million allocation of funds for the I-95 and Airport Rd Interchange Project with FDOT. This swap resulted in being able to maximize funding available between FDOT and the City thru the JIA CRA. The $7 million of funds will be matched with $32 Million (total of $40 million) in implementing various projects within the FDOT’s 5-Year “Planned Work Program” which includes the project at JTB and San Pablo Rd. This specific project represented $6 million dollars of the allocation within those projects.

Several areas within District 11 benefited from these fund swaps”, Councilman Becton explained. “The JTB - Gate Parkway interchange will be resigned, along with major improvements on Baymeadows Road will receive funds too”. Councilman Becton added. “These projects are accomplishments whereby, I have had the pleasure of working with the administration and FDOT in my first year on Council to mitigate the growth in the area for which I am very excited to see addressed.

FDOT in using 2040 peak traffic forecast volumes, predicts that traffic will drastically improve, specifically on San Pablo & the JTB ramps. FDOT predicts delays on the JTB eastbound off-ramp will be reduced by 72 to 100 seconds per vehicle, delays on the westbound off-ramp will be reduced by 6 to 57 seconds per vehicle, and delays on San Pablo at the Mayo Blvd Intersection will be reduced by 9 to 71 seconds per vehicle.

FDOT also foresees a reduction of rear-end collisions and an “elimination of 10 vehicle –to-vehicle potential conflict point.”

These improvements along with the right-in, right-out to Mayo Clinic at the JTB westbound on-ramp, Councilman Becton believes this addition will make a huge improvement in traffic conditions on San Pablo, especially during peak times.

This project cannot come soon enough for the area”, Councilman Becton noted. “The corridor of JTB going East and West is a major artery to and from the Beaches, in addition to the draw for which the Town Center has across the region.” Councilman Becton added. “This area is definitely a destination for so many residents and visitors where growth is not slowing down anytime soon.”

Construction for this project isn’t scheduled to begin until 2020. The project’s documents became available for review back in December at the Southeast Regional Public Library and the FDOT Jacksonville Urban Office for the public to review.

You can learn more about the Diverging Diamond Interchange project on FDOT’s project website: http://www.nflroads.com/SanPablo

Public Hearing Handout

FDOT Traffic Count Map

FDOT Interchange Site Plan

By Tiziana Onstead, District 11 Executive Council Assistant