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New construction project on JTB to alleviate congestion

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Updated: 8/20/2013 8:24 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Butler Boulevard isn't the road it once was. When it first became a travel route, traffic was almost non-existent. Peter Wojner said it has changed a lot since he moved here.

"When I first came here it was a four-lane road," he said.

Now, every rush hour, congestion is commonplace. Wojner said crashes are pretty typical too. Tuesday morning a half a dozen cars collided just before the Hodges exit around 8:00 a.m.  According to JSO, crews also responded to another crash in the same area that happened just before that.

"Getting off at Hodges here at five o'clock, forget about it," said Nick Volonakis. "You might as well stop somewhere and get a beer because it is clogged up."

Volonakis said he avoids the route at all costs because of the crashes.

"Half the time it's just people stopping trying to see what's going on," he said. "Rubberneckers!"

Construction crews are now adding an extra lane on the Hodges exit ramps to alleviate the strain. DOT's Mike Goldman said Tuesday's crash is exactly what the project is designed to cut down on.

"It's to make it easier to get off in both directions so you don't have the backups coming up onto the main line," he said.

The $1.1 million upgrade is considered a small step to fix the big picture. But some wonder if it's time JTB gets another major upgrade. Wojner said that will only cause more issues.

"Once you hit five lanes in each direction then you run into other problems. So I don't know that you can just expand a road indefinitely," he said.

The project started August 14. It is expected to take 90 days to complete.

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RetiredJSO - 8/21/2013 7:36 AM
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"Construction crews are now adding an extra lane on the Hodges exit ramps to alleviate the strain." Total waste of time and money, to alleviate the conjestion, you will have to get rid of the stop at the end of the exit ramp. The only way to do that is a total redesign.
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