Jacksonville, FL (Sept. 28th, 2021) – Upon passage of the 2021-22 Budget and with Councilman Becton’s advocacy, a project was added to the city’s $488 million 2021-22 Capital Improvement Project list that widens an approximately ½ mile corridor of Race Track Rd from 2 lanes to 4 lanes in a much-needed area within the Southern part of the county.
“Race Track Road represents the boundary of Duval and St. John County, whereby the road often finds itself winding in and out of both counties”, Council member Danny Becton explained. “This project was many years in the making but unfortunately complexities and obstacles often caused what is normally a straight-forward road widening, into having to solve issues of navigating responsibilities for multiple countries, securing right-of-way and funding in a public-private partnership with surrounding land-owners”, Councilmember Becton added.
Race Track Rd, for many years, has been in the news due to being a notoriously dangerous stretch of road. It is a road that has been in desperate need of upgrades to improve safety and to support the increased volume of traffic in the southern-most end of the county. Councilman Becton for years, has advocated to make this a priority, working with FDOT, the Developer of Bartram Park Development of Regional Impact (DRI), Eastland, Inc and the Mayor’s office to plan and fund the needed improvements. However, two obstacles stood in the way – funding the improvements and securing the required right-of-way of a small strip of property owned by private entities which was critical to the expansion from the current two lanes to four.
As time and good fortune sometimes happens, the right-of-way issue resolved itself with the announced purchase of 4 private parcels which included the required right-of-way property, by RISE, Inc. from Valdosta, Ga. Their plan is to develop a luxury apartment community, to be called “The Linden House”. RISE, Inc. through the acquisition of these properties, and passage of Ordinance 2021-304 added 10.89 acres to the existing 3,773.95 acres of the Bartram Park DRI. By adding this additional acreage, it also provided the land needed to allow for the widening of Race Track Rd and the ability to move these road improvements forward.
With the issues that had delayed the progress of these improvements resolved, Council Member Becton during the Finance Budget Committee on August 25th, which he is Vice-Chair, requested to amend the CIP to include the Race Track Road project, estimated at a cost of $10.6 million. In his argument that this was a critical need to this area of Jacksonville, Councilman Becton had this to say about the project:
“If anyone is familiar with the southern part of the county, Race Track Rd. starts at Phillips highway and goes to St Johns County via the southern portion of Bartram Springs to Bartram Park, as it crosses over I-95 and under 9B winding between both counties of Duval and St. Johns. This is a highly traveled section of roadway whereby there are only two lanes, no pedestrian or bicycle paths and is a constant danger to residents having seen a fatality just in the past year or so. FDOT in their 5-year plan is to improve one of the two sections remaining from east of the bridge of about .27 miles, across the bridge and then approximately .49 miles west of the bridge from two lanes to four. It is the second and final section of approximately .68 miles that will remain and need the city’s help. It is this section for which I am requesting to be included in the 2021-22 CIP.”
“This section of the improvement is vital to having this roadway widening completed. Currently, this section of the roadway is 95% within Duval County, and to the north and adjacent to this section, we will be seeing $400 to $450 million dollars of development within Duval County as a result, in the very near future. This amount of development will certainly provide future tax revenue, more than to offset this cost.”
“Today, in working over 6 years to accomplish the completion of this roadway, I am hopeful that together, we can get this item included in the CIP and accomplish a huge benefit for our residents, by your support.”
The committee agreed and with unanimous support, the CIP amendment was passed.
For more information on this project, visit the following links:
To check out other area developments that will be coming to our area, visit: