Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State's Proposals for A1A Draw Concern; Nassau: Residents Skeptical of Plans

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State's Proposals for A1A Draw Concern; Nassau: Residents Skeptical of Plans

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

A meeting last week on the Florida Department of Transportation's plans to widen Florida A1A from four lanes to six drew a fair amount of public participation before the meeting but little comment at the meeting.

There were only four speakers and about a dozen questions asked during the public comment portion of the meeting, held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Yulee Elementary School.

But about 100 home and business owners along Florida A1A from Interstate 95 east to the Shave Bridge took advantage of the two hours ahead of the meeting to have one-on-one conversations with DOT personnel about the planned widening, said Joel Glenn, an environmental management engineer for the Department of Transportation.

Most of the property owners wanted to know whether adding two more lanes meant they would lose more of their land, Glenn said.

The questions asked in the meeting, however, underscored the growing pains Nassau County residents already are feeling as traffic along the road from Interstate 95 east continues to increase.

Most of the discussion during the public comment portion focused on traffic lights, with some asking when more lights were coming, while others said there were more than enough already.

Lawrence Williams, who lives on Mount Zion Road in Yulee, told DOT officials that before they begin adding a third lane, they needed to fix the problem of access now to Florida A1A, saying it can take 30 to 35 minutes to turn on to the road in the morning.

"We cannot get out on A1A," he said. "If you can't correct that problem, how are you going to fix the others?"

Betty Benton of Pages Dairy Road in Yulee said traffic on Florida A1A makes it dangerous for school buses trying to either enter or exit the road on their way to the new Yulee Middle School on Miner Road.

DOT officials said a light is planned at that intersection, making it one of five to seven that are coming to Florida A1A in the next couple of years. …

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