ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A new multiuse trail on State Road A1A could stretch from Vilano Beach to Mickler Road in St. Johns County.
The Florida Department of Transportation is conducting a feasibility study for a 10- to 12-foot paved lane along the 16-mile stretch. The lane would be separate from the road, giving drivers and families more space.
It’s been talked about since the early 2000s, according to St. Johns County Public Works Director Neal Shinkre.
The plan is moving forward with FDOT footing the bill for the study, which is estimated to cost $150,000.
“A wider lane would be great for everybody,” Patrick Murphy said.
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Murphy bikes up and down State Road A1A every day.
“I’m always watching out,” he said. “Up there, it gets to be 55 mph. Fifty-five (mph) turns into 65 (mph), realistically, when no one’s around.”
Drivers say State Road A1A is also a concern for them, especially when cars block the bike lanes.
"They're parked on the side of the road and the cyclists have to veer around them. With traffic coming through there, we have to veer around the cyclists, as well. You have to be very cautious," David Ruzeck said.
The FDOT study is expected to take up to a year. Shinkre said it's second on the county's list of priority projects, right behind the River to Sea Loop.
Action News Jax reported in July that project is already funded by the state.
They’re both part of the county’s efforts to connect communities and neighborhoods with safe trails for bicyclists and families.
“I think it's beautiful. I’m all for it, 120%,” Murphy said.
"Regarding your question on the feasibility study for a paved path from Vilano Beach to Mickler Road, the cost of the study is not confirmed at this time, but currently estimated at $150,000. The study will develop an estimate of environmental, right-of-way and construction cost to build the trail and will most likely take a year to complete. The study has not commenced, therefore, public involvement is not yet determined. I recommend you follow up after that time frame when more information will be available."