$147M federal grant to fund Emerald Trail, gas tax money helps elsewhere

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The largest federal grant the City of Jacksonville has ever received will help fund the remaining five segments of the Emerald Trail.


The Emerald Trail will be 30 miles long and connects 14 neighborhoods. A US DOT Neighborhood Access and Equity grant will cover $147 million of the $184 million project. The City of Jacksonville will match up to $37 million.

“I’m so thrilled to welcome you all here today to celebrate a major victory,” Kay Ehas, the CEO of Groundwork Jax, said at a press conference Tuesday. “We want this trail to be the most successful in the country,” Mayor Donna Deegan added.

$132 million raised by the local option gas tax approved by the city council in 2021 was previously set to fund the project. It’s still being used to cover the local match but leaves nearly $100 million.

Action News Jax Robert Grant asked city leaders Tuesday where that money will go now. The CEO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority said some will be used to cover any increase in construction costs over the next six years as well as fund other infrastructure projects.

“There’s a number of projects we want to make sure get done and these funds will help with that,” Ford said.

One example Ford provided is funding a second St. Johns River Ferry. Mayor Deegan added that the money will also be used as a local match to go after additional federal grants.

“When you’re willing to make the commitment to invest. That brings in a lot more money and opportunity,” she said.

City officials said there were 686 applications country-wide for the grant and 132 winners. Jacksonville was the sixth-highest winner

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.

Comments on this article