Bumper to bumper traffic with Mathews Bridge closed

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Updated: 10/01/2013 12:15 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Drivers hit the roads for rush hour Friday morning and many Mathews Bridge commuters had to find alternate routes.

While there was some delay, many drivers relayed the plans put in place by JSO and the city of Jacksonville. It all paid off.

For the most part, Action News crews found traffic in Arlington was at a crawl this morning.

It wasn't as bad as driver Jason Praddock feared. "I figured traffic was going to be all jacked up," Praddock said.

Praddock, like many other Mathews Bridge commuters, seemed to heed the warning from JSO.

They told drivers to leave 30-60 minutes early Friday morning and, to above all else, be patient.

The Mathews Bridge handles about 100,000 commuters daily.

Action News crews spotted JSO choppers circling the Arlington area, checking traffic patterns by air.

On the ground, we caught a fender bender on-camera at University Boulevard North near the now closed Mathews on-ramp.

We also saw at least three other close calls, as drivers seemed clearly distracted by the detour.

Praddock explained, "It looked pretty bad to me going down Atlantic Boulevard near the Hart Bridge. It was all backed up."

Praddock and other drivers we talked to say while the detour added 10 to 30 minutes to their commute, it wasn't the nightmare they feared, yet.

"It's going to be a mess for I don't know how long. They've had this bridge closed every night for how long now.  I figured it was about to open back up and then now, we got to find another way, you know."
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