Work will soon be underway on Jacksonville's latest expressway, State Road 9B (Future I-795). This four lane divided interstate highway will eventually connect SR 9A to Interstate 95.
A new roadway connecting southern Duval County with northern St. Johns County has been in the plans since the mid 1970s. The new road will provide a vital link in the overall transportation system by ultimately improving access to Interstate 95 and relieving the heavily congested U.S. 1 and Old St. Augustine Road corridors in southern Duval and northern St. Johns counties near Jacksonville, Florida.http://www.sr9b.com/sr9b/AboutUs.aspx
Prior to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the project was on hold due to lack of funding. Although State Road 9B was not funded during the first round of ARRA projects, remaining funds became available from projects that came in under budget. By the end of 2009, the first phase of State Road 9B, from State Road 9A to U.S. 1, was finally funded. Construction of phase two remains unfunded.
The road will be constructed of concrete pavement and will initially have two travel lanes in each direction with 10-foot paved shoulders on the outside lanes, four-foot paved shoulders on the inside lanes, and an 88-foot center median. The speed limit is currently planned for 65 mph.
The State Road 9B corridor is designed to ultimately accommodate eight lanes of traffic, four 12-foot lanes in each direction, with 12-foot shoulders on each side of the roadway.
Phase 1: SR 9A to US 1 (Philips Highway)
Phase one of State Road 9B begins at State Road 9A and extends nearly five miles south where it will connect to U.S. 1 at Gran Bay Parkway.http://www.sr9b.com/sr9b/AboutUs.aspx
On the north end of the project, a new interchange between S.R. 9A and S.R. 9B will allow southbound S.R. 9A traffic to remain on S.R. 9A or enter S.R. 9B. Northbound S.R. 9B traffic will continue northbound onto S.R. 9A.
On the south end of the project, a new interchange will provide a direct connection between S.R. 9B and U.S. 1 by way of signalized intersections. Turn lanes will be constructed both north- and southbound on U.S. 1 for vehicles entering northbound S.R. 9B, and entrance and exit ramps will provide access between the two roadways.
Lane closures will be necessary on U.S. 1 and S.R. 9A during construction, but will not be allowed during peak traffic times.
This project was bid as a design/build contract to accelerate construction and was awarded to the design build team of Archer Western Contractors / GAI Consultants for $68,473,000.
Phase 2: US 1 (Philips Highway) to Interstate 95
Phase two is proposed to extend State Road 9B from U.S. 1 to Interstate 95 with an interchange providing access from southbound S.R. 9B to both north- and southbound Interstate 95. Access will also be provided from northbound Interstate 95 to northbound S.R. 9B.http://www.sr9b.com/sr9b/Phase1.aspx
The proposed interchange at Interstate 95 is located about two miles south of Old St. Augustine Road and four miles north of County Road 210.
Also proposed in phase two is construction of the remaining ramps at the interchange with U.S. 1, resulting in full access between S.R. 9B and U.S. 1, both north- and southbound. An off-ramp from southbound S.R. 9B to Flagler Development is also proposed during phase two construction.
Design and right-of-way acquisition are underway for this phase, but construction costs remain unfunded at this time.
Sample Frequently Asked Questions
When and where will construction begin on State Road 9B - Phase One and what happens first?
Preliminary field work, including: surveying, soil testing and gopher tortoise relocation, is already underway to prepare for the start of construction in early July 2010. One of the first visible signs of construction will be crews placing barrier wall at both State Road 9A and U.S. 1 to to protect workers and motorists during construction. Crews will also begin clearing the right-of-way on the south end of the project, near U.S. 1, and work north. Most of the work will not be visible from the roadway, so it may appear there are long periods of no activity; however, progress photos will be placed in the photo gallery on this website.
How did State Road 9B finally get funded?
The only portion of State Road 9B that is currently funded for construction is between State Road 9A and U.S. 1 in Duval County. Federal stimulus money remaining from other projects that were funded and came in under budget became available at the end of 2009. The first segment of State Road 9B, from State Road 9A to U.S. 1, was funded through this second round of stimulus money. The remainder of State Road 9B construction remains unfunded at this time.
Is State Road 9B going to be a toll road?
There are no current plans to make State Road 9B a toll road.
Will State Road 9B be constructed with asphalt or concrete?
State Road 9B Phase One will be constructed with concrete, a material that lasts longer, but takes longer to rehabilitate or repair when necessary. For example, currently underway is a project to rehabilitate the concrete pavement on four miles of Interstate 10, between Lane Avenue and Stockton Street. This rehabilitation is scheduled to take three years to complete. The turn lanes and ramps at the new intersection with U.S. 1 will be built using asphalt to match the existing roadway.
Will there be any accommodation for bicycles and pedestrians on State Road 9B?
No, State Road 9B is being constructed as a limited-access highway and will not accommodate pedestrians or bicyclists. However, bicycle and pedestrians are allowed along U.S. 1 and will be accommodated during construction.
How many travel lanes will State Road 9B have?
State Road 9B will initially be constructed as a four-lane concrete divided highway, expandable to eight lanes. It will include bridge crossings over Rudin Street, Powers Bay, Powers Bay Relief, Big Davis Creek Relief, Big Davis Creek, Cross Road and State Road 9A. All bridges will be built to accommodate future expansion without the need to be completely reconstructed.
Will motorists on State Road 9B - Phase One have full access to State Road 9A and U.S. 1?
On the north end of the project, a new interchange between State Road 9A and State Road 9B will allow southbound State Road 9A traffic remain on State Road 9A or enter State Road 9 B. Northbound State Road 9B traffic will continue northbound onto State Road 9A. Northbound State Road 9b will not have access to southbound State Road 9A. On the south end of Phase One, two new signalized intersections will provide direct connections between State Road 9B and U.S 1, just south of Bayard. Turn lanes will be constructed on U.S. 1 at the new signalized intersections to allow both north- and southbound motorists access between the two roadways.
For more information: http://www.sr9b.com/sr9b/AboutUs.aspx
Update by Ennis Davis