Drivers will have to wait a while longer for the work on the Interstate 95, John Turner Butler Boulevard Interchange to be completed. The Florida Department of Transportation just announced the project will not be finished until at least 2018. Construction began in August of 2014 and was scheduled to be completed this summer. FDOT officials say several factors led to the delay of the project.
“This is a $67 million project, one of the biggest contracts in our area, we want to make sure we get it right,” said FDOT spokesman Ron Tittle. “With that being said, more crashes and inclement weather than we anticipated helped slow down construction,” said Tittle. He is mainly referring to Hurricane Matthew which hit Northeast Florida on October 7 as a Category three storm. The area shut down for nearly a week leading up to and after the storm hit.
FDOT says the project will include a flyover ramp from I-95 south to JTB. That would eliminate a signal that currently sits at JTB and Philips Highway. Crews are also widening Belfort Road at the intersection of JTB so that drivers can bypass the traffic that merges on to the highway.
Throughout the project, FDOT has had to shut down the road overnights during the week, so that beams can be installed and crews can perform concrete work on the overhead flyover.
Although the work and delays are causing headaches for drivers, especially when an accident happens, transportation officials assure motorists that when this project is completed, it will alleviate much of the congestion in the area. “This interchange is one of the most traveled in Jacksonville, but if drivers can just give us one more year, we will have smooth sailing from then on,” said Tittle.