Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another Road Proposal Feels Fund Shift; Roosevelt-Timuquana Overpass Loses Support to Collins-Roosevelt Changes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another Road Proposal Feels Fund Shift; Roosevelt-Timuquana Overpass Loses Support to Collins-Roosevelt Changes

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID BAUERLEIN

Like a game of musical chairs, another Better Jacksonville Plan interchange could be on the move, this time on the Westside.

Instead of using $25 million for an overpass at Roosevelt Boulevard and Timuquana Road, Mayor John Peyton and City Councilman Michael Corrigan support using the money for construction of an elevated ramp linking Collins Road to Roosevelt Boulevard.

Corrigan said this week he also wants the city to straighten the sharply twisting eastern end of Collins Road where it approaches the railroad tracks running alongside Roosevelt.

"My hope is that we can also fund a flyover ramp over the railroad tracks so we can accomplish two things with one construction project," Corrigan said.

The flyover ramp would be a curving, elevated ramp from eastbound Collins to northbound Roosevelt, letting drivers make what amounts to a left-hand turn without stopping for a traffic light as they do now, said city project manager Dave Schneider. Officials don't have an estimate yet for what it would cost.

Mayoral aide Brad Thoburn said a flyover ramp would fit the Better Jacksonville Plan's call for widening Collins Road to four lanes. In a separate project, the state Department of Transportation plans to build entrance and exit ramps at Interstate 295 and Collins Road.

Collins Road near Roosevelt Boulevard handled an average 13,075 vehicles daily in 2004, a 27 percent increase from 1999, according to traffic counts. Timuquana Road at Roosevelt Boulevard was used by 26,000 vehicles daily in 2004, which was a 2 percent increase since 1999.

Lee Martin, chairman of the Southwest Citizen Planning Advisory Committee, said business owners in the area of Timuquana Road would likely be pleased to see the overpass moved. He said motorists would also welcome the change. …

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