Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TRAFFIC; Keep Monroe Open

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TRAFFIC; Keep Monroe Open

Article excerpt

Now that a portion of Monroe Street has been temporarily reopened, pending approval of a new Duval County Courthouse design, a way should be found to make that status permanent.

The courthouse originally was to stretch across seven blocks, forcing the city to close part of Monroe, which connects Interstate 95 to the heart of downtown. When the projected price soared from $190 million to nearly $300 million, Mayor John Peyton had the good sense to pull the plug. A new design is to be unveiled in the spring.

Our thought is that the original design was unduly extravagant, even before escalating materials prices and "extras" to please the judges caused its price to soar.

Surely a city, even one the size of Jacksonville, doesn't need a million-square-foot behemoth, taking valuable real estate off the tax rolls and obstructing traffic downtown.

Think of what heating and air conditioning alone would have cost.

One proposal, floated by state Rep. …

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