Installation of delineators for I-295 East Beltway express lanes delayed due to weather

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Weather permitting, The Florida Department of Transportation says the I-295 Express Lanes should be open in several weeks.

The 295 East Beltway express lanes stretch from State Road 9B to Butler Boulevard.

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FDOT hoped to have all the construction done by last fall but says the cold weather delayed them.

“Can’t install the delineators unless the temperature is above a certain threshold,” explains FDOT spokesperson Hampton Ray.

He says the delineators, or the plastic polls that keeps traffic flowing in a direction, is the last bit of work remaining before drivers can start using the express lanes.

“We want to make sure the taxpayers get the best value for what they’re paying for. So we want the product that’s applied to roadway to be as durable as possible. And that does require a certain temperature that we’ve seen lately,” says Ray.

The $139 million project began back in spring of 2016 after FDOT saw an increase of traffic on the 295 Beltway, according to Ray.

“It’s no secret our region is growing like wildfire. We’re seeing a lot of growth in St. Johns County. The I-295 corridor there and State Road 9B connecting to 295 is a very busy section of town,” he says.

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Once the lanes open, drivers will only be charged during certain times of day.

“Those tolls are only in place for between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the morning. Then 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the evening,” explains Ray.

The express lanes will be free on weekends and holidays.

FDOT wants to hear from you. They are holding a public hearing on Thursday, Jan. 27 at the UNF university center about another I-295 expansion project.