State highway construction in the Jacksonville metro area reached the $1 billion mark this summer, reflecting an unprecedented level of investment in the region’s infrastructure, according to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Secretary Greg Evans.
“We are engaged in a major overhaul of the transportation system in the Jacksonville metro area and we can thank Governor Rick Scott, FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold and the Florida Legislature for their commitment to northeast Florida,” said Evans.
Evans said investment in Jacksonville’s infrastructure is an investment in Jacksonville itself.
Evans also added that FDOT was allocated more than $10 billion statewide for three years in a row as the state attempts to manage growth.
“We are committed to cutting travel times because we know that will result in greater mobility for individuals, households and businesses as well as more efficient delivery of goods and services, improved lifestyles and standards of living and safer roadways.”
Evans said new local jobs are a direct result of the increased spending on infrastructure.
“More than one-third of the jobs created by a highway project are in service sectors that includes education, health and leisure and hospitality industries,” said Evans. “Investment in transportation infrastructure has a positive impact on every major sector of the U.S. economy.”
Evans said inconveniences associated with highway construction are a small price to pay for an enhanced transportation system. “We see it as a temporary inconvenience for a long-term solution,” he said. “Orange, as in orange barrels, means black for Jacksonville’s bottom line.”
According to FDOT, every dollar invested in transportation in Florida is estimated to result in a return of $4.40 in user and economic benefits to residents and businesses.
FDOT’s District Two, which covers 18 counties in northeast Florida, currently has major construction underway on the following highways:
- Interstate 95
- Interstate 295
- Interstate 10
- Interstate 75
- State Road 9B
- First Coast Expressway
- A1A in Nassau County
- Blanding Blvd
- Heckscher Drive
Evans said transportation is the second-largest expense for U.S. households and that traffic congestion is common in most American cities.
“We recognize that traffic congestion is a sign of a healthy urban area,” he said. “However, to the extent possible, FDOT wants its transportation system to be congestion-free – that is, without unnecessary delay in moving people or freight on all modes and with reliable travel times. This includes eliminating delays associated with bottlenecks, crashes and other incidents,” he added.