Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

I-295 So Popular Ramps Are Jammed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

I-295 So Popular Ramps Are Jammed

Article excerpt

Improving and widening Interstate 295 on the Westside and in

Mandarin and doubling the width of the Buckman Bridge has

attracted so much traffic it's causing bottlenecks at exit

ramps.

Motorists are complaining of not enough room on the ramps,

particularly at rush hour when cars trying to leave I-295 are

often backed up onto the interstate.

Bottlenecks have developed at just about all the I-295 exit

ramps between Commonwealth Avenue on the Westside and the I-95

merger in Mandarin. Average daily traffic over the Buckman

Bridge jumped from an estimated 78,000 vehicles in 1996 to

110,743 vehicles in September, according to the Florida

Department of Transportation.

While most of that increase is from the widened highway and

bridge, DOT spokesman Mike Goldman said some of the added

traffic comes from motorists trying to avoid construction on

Interstate 95.

To help alleviate the bottlenecks, DOT plans to widen many of

the ramps and expects design to begin in about a year. But

funding is not available for five years, said Jim Scott,

district traffic operations engineer for DOT.

"Of course, if there is an opportunity to fund the project

sooner, we certainly will," he said.

The exits with the worst bottlenecks are at St. Augustine Road

and San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin and at Roosevelt, Blanding

and Normandy boulevards, 103rd Street and Commonwealth Avenue on

the Westside, Scott said.

While some of the exits are bottlenecks for both northand

southbound I-295 traffic, others affect traffic in just one

direction. For example, the exit at Normandy Boulevard is a

bottleneck for those traveling south on I-295, Scott said, while

at Roosevelt Boulevard, the problem is for traffic traveling

north. …

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