Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Projects OK'd for Bond Funds

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Projects OK'd for Bond Funds

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon, Shorelines staff writer

Ponte Vedra Beach and other areas in north St. Johns County will see some major road improvements under a finalized $30 million transportation bond.

The County Commission unanimously approved a priority list of road projects Tuesday. The bond issue was approved in June. Some of the projects will begin next month, after the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

The bond lets the county borrow money against its share of state gas tax revenues and will be repaid over the next 30 years.

Most of the north county projects originally proposed stayed intact, but some were eliminated, including Florida A1A bike lanes from Beach Boulevard to Florida 312.

"We eliminated all sidewalks and bike paths because Florida statutes do not allow gas taxes to be used for separate bicycle and pedestrian facilities," Public Works Director Joe Stephenson said.

However, the widening of County Road 210 from Mickler Road to U.S. 1 is set for bond funding. The Lake Road bridge replacement of an existing 95-foot wooden span over the Ponte Vedra Canal is also on the first priority list.

Stephenson said those and other projects throughout the county were on the top priority list while others remain on a secondary priority list, which is for capital projects that could receive county transportation trust funds but could also be eligible for bond funds if they become available. The initial projects scheduled could get additional state or federal funding, freeing up more of the bond money to fund the secondary projects, which are expected to be completed within three years.

"I like the list the way it is," said Commissioner Bruce Maguire, who represents the Ponte Vedra Beach and Palm Valley areas.

He also likes the projects in waiting for the bond money should the additional federal and state money come in for the top priority projects. The road projects set to get bond funds should they become available include: Roscoe Boulevard safety improvements, drainage improvements through the Ponte Vedra Municipal Service District and on Sunset Drive and Solana Road and North Beach drainage improvements for Vilano Beach. …

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