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Traffic flowing on 9B

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Updated: 9/19/2013 8:00 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With a single snip, the 4-mile-stretch of new road is open for travelers.

It's been dubbed 9B and will take you from Philips Highway to Interstate 295.

"The project has actually been in the works for a couple decades," said Laurie Sanderson with Florida Department of Transportation.

The route is designed to cut down on congestion for folks who travel between Duval and St Johns counties.

"It's easier to traverse from one place to the other and it connects our communities, more importantly," said state Sen. Audrey Gibson.

The first drivers hit the pavement northbound Thursday morning after Action News cameras caught the crews removing the road closed sign and all the barrels. But progress comes at a price for some.

"Property values will be affected by everyone in the community," said Lynn Brennan.

The stretch that opened Thursday is only phase one of the project. Phase two extends 9B to I-95, right though Brennan's back yard in Mission Trace.

"This is our retirement home, we thought. The last home we will be in and it's not just us but the entire community. We're very unhappy," she said.

DOT told Action News that stretch will cost $95 million and will be complete in the summer of 2016 -- that is, if Brennan's community doesn't find a way to stop it.

"My husband, he's leading the charge," she said.

But for many drivers, it is good news and they didn't waste any time taking advantage.


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