JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Governor Scott announced three new projects to ease the congestion that many drivers deal with every day along J. Turner Butler Boulevard.
Plans are in place for a I-95 Southbound flyover ramp to give free-flow direct connection to JTB. Crews will also build an I-95 Northbound ramp to provide westbound access to JTB. There will also be an JTB overpass ramp to eliminate vehicle conflicts and reduce congestion at Belfort Road.
The project will cost $78 million. The project will be awarded to a contractor by June 2014. Construction will begin in 2015.
It's more than a headache reliever for those behind the wheel. The improvements project may be a life saver.
"Rush hour traffic, it can easily take 40 minutes to get downtown to get a patient that's in serious condition to get the care that they need in that golden hour period," said Brandon Carter, a paramedic.
Carter says I-95 at JTB is hands down the worst spot in town. And those precious minutes they're stuck waiting in clogged traffic adds even more stress to their job.
"When it's bumper to bumper traffic and you've got 5 lanes that aren't moving and you need to get the patient to a critical care point, you go on lights you go on sirens but you're trying to get the patient there quickly but do it safely at the same time," he said.
He's 100-percent on board with the $78 million construction project Governor Rick Scott unveiled Tuesday. So is driver Debbie Mierzejewski. She spends a lot of time carting her mom around to doctors appointments and says traffic is so bad here, she's learned to schedule them around the congestion.
"What it did for 295 over there and 9A is fantastic and connected us to St. Johns County and got people to, movement fantastic," she said of similar projects.
Governor Scott says will mean time saved for everyone on the road. And Carter knows the patients he's driving around may appreciate that the most.
"We're really excited for the changes that are going to occur, looking forward to it. Thank the Governor for his hard work."
It will be paid for in part by the gas tax. Governor Scott says the FDOT is also figuring out ways to be creative in completing projects like this one without spending tons of money. They expect it to take three years to finish.