ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A busy intersection at the St. Johns-Duval County line may be getting an upgrade.
On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Transportation held its first public meeting about the proposed changes at Race Track Road and US-1.
FDOT’s 2022 data reveals nearly 30,000 people travel on US-1 or Philips Highway near this intersection every day.
Many people tell Action News Jax this area is a traffic headache, especially during rush hour. They say it has to do with the trains and all the new development.
“We all love the growth and the population and people coming here, but we also want to make sure we can get it out of our homes, getting in and out of our businesses -- getting in and out of everything without getting into little nicks and crashes,” local driver N. J. Williams said.
Williams travels on US-1 and Race Track Road every day and says he has to plan his commute ahead of time because of how bad the traffic can get.
“Basically like, almost like 15 to 20 minutes, just waiting for the traffic to continue to die down and so on,” Williams said.
FDOT grades its roadway from ‘A’ – free-flowing traffic to ‘F’ – congested conditions. This intersection’s level of service right now is at an ‘F’ – failing. The population growth and trains are said to be contributing factors.
“Currently there are about 24 trains per day that use and block Race Track Road,” FDOT spokesperson Hampton Ray said.
So, FDOT is making a change to help alleviate the congestion and make it safer.
Designers are proposing to have the intersection go from this:
It’s currently a $10.5 million project that would include a displaced left turn signal on Race Track Road and would remove the left turn movement from Nocatee Parkway southbound on Philips Hwy. This means you would have to make a U-turn to go south on Philips Hwy from Nocatee Parkway.
Some people during the meeting are not happy about this. But, Williams on the other hand said while it’s a big cost, he thinks it’s worth the investment.
“Growth and development is not changing so you basically just have to bite those bullets when it comes to - yes 10.5 million,” Williams said.
Since more growth is expected in this area, FDOT acknowledges that this is a temporary solution for a long-term problem.
The timeline for this project is subject to change, but right now the right-of-way acquisition is scheduled to happen this year, and the construction is scheduled to begin in 2027.
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If you want to learn more about this, the next public meeting will be at the Bartram Springs Social Hall, starting at 4:30 p.m. this Thursday.