The Fuller Warren Bridge Expansion Project
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently announced out of the blue that they'd like to spend $136 million to widen the Fuller Warren Bridge. Here is a look at what the FDOT has been quietly cooking up.
Published December 11, 2013 in Transportation - MetroJacksonville.com
FDOT believes this $136 million project is needed to relieve traffic congestion between the new I-10/I-95 interchange and the Fuller Warren Bridge. Carrying an average of 146,000 vehicles per day, the Fuller Warren is the busiest river crossing in the region. Work involves adding one lane to each direction of the Fuller Warren Bridge, along with a flyover from I-10 west to Roosevelt Boulevard in the vicinity of Rosselle Street.
Funding is proposed by postponing and shifting money earmarked for the I-295 East Beltway express lane project between Dames Point and I-95 North. State lawmakers are expected to officially approve funding for this project in March. Currently in the preliminary design stage, construction would start in 2016 if approved.
A Closer Look
The west portion of the project will consist of the construction of a flyover from I-10 westbound to Roosevelt Boulevard. It appears a few North Riverside residences near the intersection of Lenox Avenue and James Street will have to be removed to accommodate the flyover.
Just east of the I-10/Stockton Street interchange, a second lane will be added to the existing I-10 ramp to I-95 South.
The most notable change at ground level will occur in the Five Points area. Here, a six story office building between Oak and May Streets will be demolished to accommodate more lanes on the Fuller Warren Bridge. It appears the Annie Lytle School will not be impacted by this expansion project. It remains to be seen how this project will ultimately impact the Riverside Arts Market (RAM) and proposed plans for a nearby dog park and riverwalk extension.
In a recent Florida Times Union article, officials believe as much as 95% of RAM will not be impacted and they will examine the impact on plans for the proposed dog park and Northbank Artists Walk extension in the future.
Plans show an eight lane Fuller Warren Bridge with additional lanes for ramps and merging traffic between Five Points' Park Street and the Southbank's Palm Avenue. Despite the opportunity, plans indicate that a bicycle and pedestrian connection between Riverside's Five Points and the Southbank/San Marco area will not be included.
Pittsburgh's Fort Duquesne Bridge (I-279) over the Allegheny River includes a pedestrian walkway. If FDOT continues to move forward with this project, should something like this be considered for the nation's third most deadly city for cyclist and pedestrians?
Once the project reaches the Southbank, it will feed into a section of I-95 currently being expanded as a part of the $200 million Overland Bridge project. Click here to learn more about the Overland Bridge project.
Traveling southbound, I-95 drivers who wish to access Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway, will exit in the vicinity of the Main Street Bridge. Main Street Bridge drivers headed to southbound I-95 will no longer be able to access Hendricks Avenue.
Project update by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article can be found at: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-dec-the-fuller-warren-bridge-expansion-project