Beachside High School opens, leads to heightened traffic concerns

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — The first day of school at the new Beachside High School in St. Johns County brought excitement to the classroom, but a headache on the road.

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Monday morning commuters dealt with bumper-to-bumper traffic along County Road 210 in the Twin Creeks area. A representative for the county said it’s not just the high school, which serves more than 2,000 students, but all the new development in the area that’s causing backups.

“You can see it’s a dead stop. Dead stop,” Buckey Neustadt, the owner of New Stat Designer Service, said. “I can’t even get out of my business. I’m supposed to be on deliveries at 8 o’clock in the morning. It took us an hour to get to Ponte Vedra Friday.”

New Stat is a delivery company just off CR 210 in the same area that’s seen increased congestion.

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He said last week traffic backed up onto Interstate-95 before class even started at the new high school. Monday was the first day at Beachside after construction delayed the start of class.

“People were hitting brakes on I-95 because of this school. It’s ridiculous,” he said.

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The county said it has plans to expand areas around Twin Creeks. Three main projects are expected to start in the next three years.

CR-210 from CE Wilson to Beachwalk will expand to four lanes, a representative said.

FDOT also has plans in the 2025 budget to bring I-95 up to 10 lanes from the Duval Line to International Golf Parkway.

Lastly, there’s plans to make the 210 overpass at US-1 a four-lane road. There’s no timeline yet for that project.

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Neustadt said in the meantime, traffic to Beachside should be directed to Beacon Lakes, which expands back to three lanes in both directions and also leads to the school.

Beachside starts class at 9:20 a.m. and gets out at 3:50 p.m.