Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Road Projects Climb Up County List; Interchanges at 210 Are Work Priorities

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Road Projects Climb Up County List; Interchanges at 210 Are Work Priorities

Article excerpt

Byline: Christina Abel

Some Ponte Vedra Beach area roads have made the top of the St. Johns County commissioners' priority list of road improvement and construction projects for the next five years.

At a meeting Tuesday, the commissioners maneuvered to get projects in their districts higher on the list of about 20 total road projects. Commissioner Bruce Maguire, who represents the Ponte Vedra Beach area, kept two local items on the top of the list of highway projects -- the interchanges at Interstate 95 and County Road 210 and at U.S. 1 and 210.

While those projects have funding coming in from developments such as Nocatee and Twin Creeks, they are not fully funded yet, Transportation Planning Director Bill Hartman said.

Those projects don't have "private funds to go all the way," Hartman said.

Hartman said that creating this priority list, however, doesn't mean the projects will be funded. The First Coast Metropolitan Planning Organization will review the list, then pass its recommendations on to the Florida Department of Transportation.

"Generally, they follow our priorities," Hartman said. "But the DOT uses this plus all other local governments to rank regional projects as they develop a plan for the next five years."

Denise Bunnewith, the executive director of the organization, said they have to further narrow the county's list because they have to consider three other counties' wants and needs, and ultimately, present a list of the top 20 projects for four Northeast Florida counties to the Florida Department of Transportation in August.

"We try to balance it," Bunnewith said, by selecting high priority items from each county for the list.

She also said that they try to keep the same high priority projects on the list year after year since these projects are often developed in stages. …

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