Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Southside Interchange Proposed for I-95 South

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Southside Interchange Proposed for I-95 South

Article excerpt

Jacksonville economic development leaders who want to

eliminate business incentives in order to ease Southside

congestion are negotiating plans to help build a $20 million

traffic interchange and widen Interstate 95.

The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission expects to

present a proposal within 90 days that would involve developer

Gran Central Corp. and the state Department of Transportation.

The plan, which hasn't been completed, would create an

interchange at I-95 and Old St. Augustine Road and add two lanes

to I-95 from Interstate 295 to the project.

"The city is very interested in having that occur as soon as

possible," said commission Executive Director Mike Weinstein.

He said the interchange would alleviate traffic problems in

that area. The plan would be an an exception to the recently

proposed policy banning incentives to the southeast part of the

city.

Interstate 95 already is being widened to six lanes from

Emerson Street to I-295.

City planners said traffic counts for 1997 are not available

from the state to show how heavily I-95 is traveled through

Duval County.

The 1996 figures show average counts of 41,500 to 108,000 cars

a day at various points along I-95 from south of Jacksonville to

the St. Johns County line.

Weinstein said the interchange project stems from development

of the 934-acre Gran Park at Jacksonville business center along

Old St. Augustine Road. Gran Park features employers such as

Bombardier Capital Corp., Atlantic Teleservices and General

Motors Corp.

When General Motors broke ground on the 362,000-square-foot

Service Parts Operation center at the park in 1996, officials

with developer Gran Central Corp. said an interchange was needed

at I-95 to create access. The GM center opened last year.

"There have been discussions with Gran Central for years about

possibly creating an interchange at Old St. …

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