Major changes are on the way for Jacksonville’s skyline.
Federal government funding is now secured for the removal of the Hart Bridge ramps in Downtown Jacksonville. The removal is a key part of the city’s plan to overhaul the city's downtown and make it a destination.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s vision to make downtown Jacksonville more vibrant could be coming true.
Stephanie Brown from WOKV reported:
Curry tweeted that the Hart Bridge ramp removal project is among those that are getting funding from the US Department of Transportation. The City was seeking just under $12.5 million from the federal government to cover one third of the needed funding. The City has already committed $12.5 million and the State has matched that amount as well, for a total project cost of just under $37.5 million.
Action News Jax reporter Amber Krycka spoke with people who work downtown and got their thoughts on this project.
“It’s going to be a huge plus for downtown,” said the manager at Bold City Brewery, Will Frazier.
“There’s nothing but good that I see,” said Noell Schofiele who works downtown.
Action News Jax has reported on a plethora of new plans over the past few years to develop downtown Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Jaguar's owner Shad Khan has pitched a $2.5 billion vision for the sports complex and shipyards area. He also feels the removal of the Hart bridge ramps is important for future development.
Removing the ramps is seen as important from a development perspective because the ramps currently divert traffic over Bay Street and past the Sports Complex, therefore bringing traffic and customers past that area as well. The ramps also obstruct the view and connectivity from the Complex through to the River.
With the Hart Bridge ramps removed, drivers will be forced to go into the heart of downtown – something many business owners are happy about.
“This is going to bring so much more business and traffic through this area,” said Frazier.
The Jaguars are also happy about the ramp removal. In a statement from Mark Lamping, “Removing the ramps creates obvious synergies between the Shipyards and mixed-use development planned for Lot J and establishes a new route for visitors to access the Downtown Sports Complex.”
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The city is expecting the Hart Bridge ramp removal to be done in about 28 months.
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