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Are Express Lanes the Solution to Congestion on I-95?

Interstate 95 signage, Jacksonville, FL

Multiple stretches of I-95 in Jacksonville are becoming overcrowded.

To be more accurate, traffic has been over capacity for quite a while now.

The completion of major construction projects such as the Overland Bridge project and the Butler Blvd. fly-over ramps is expected to lighten the load, but not significantly enough to make the roadways capable of keeping up with Jax’s rapid population growth.

As a solution, Florida Department of Transportation is proposing the construction of new express lanes along two key stretches of I-95: from International Golf Parkway to the I-295 interchange, and from Butler Blvd. to Atlantic Blvd.

The express lanes would work the exact same way as the I-295 express lanes that are currently under construction.

However, not everyone is on board with FDOT’s plans.

A recent First Coast News article indicated that the plan for express lanes from Butler to Atlantic will face stiff opposition from surrounding neighborhoods when it’s presented at a public hearing on Wednesday. The hearing will take place at the Marriott at 4670 Salisbury Road.

Additionally, some residents are concerned about the idea of continuing construction along this stretch of I-95. Both ends of this stretch have been under construction for the past few years, and the proposed express lanes project would mean even more construction – and more traffic headaches as a result.

And others are simply opposed to the idea of tolls in general – and are quick to bring up the eradication of toll roads in Jax decades earlier.

It’s a complicated situation with no easy answer. FDOT is correct in their assertion that these stretches of the highway aren’t wide enough to handle the daily traffic they experience, but it’s very much debatable as to whether express lanes are the answer.

What do YOU think about express lanes on 95? Let us know on social media or in the comment section below!

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The Coastal
The Coastal is Jacksonville's newest magazine, founded in 2015 to provide news, reviews, and things to do for young people on the First Coast.