No grant to take down Hart Bridge ramps in Jacksonville, project is unchanged

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The City of Jacksonville did not get a $25 million grant to help take down the Hart Bridge ramps at Talleyrand and along the Shipyards.

Tia Ford, a spokeswoman for Mayor Lenny Curry's office, sent Action News Jax anchor John Bachman an email, saying the project is unchanged.

"The status of the Talleyrand Connector project is unchanged. The removal of the bridge and first phase of the associated components in the project can be accomplished using $25 million ($12.5M local funding/ $12.5M state funding). Later phases of the project, including timeline and funding sources, are to be determined as this project continues to move forward," Ford said in the email.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s vision of removing the Hart Bridge ramp into downtown could receive a significant boost due to $12.5 million in funding tucked in the Florida budget.

Senator Aaron Bean filed a bill that funds the project. It’s known as the Talleyrand Connector, part of a larger freight initiative to improve freight access in Northeast Florida by improving freight connectivity to and from the Interstate 95 system.

“I appreciate the $12.5 million appropriation for Jacksonville. It would not be possible without the support of Chairman Bradley, Speaker Corcoran, Representative Cummings and Senator Bean,” Curry said to Action News Jax Anchor John Bachman on Thursday.

Mayor Curry first introduced the idea in November 2016 when he asked Duval-area state lawmakers for $50 million to tear down the Hart Bridge ramp elevated over Bay Street.

Curry argued that the ramp is not just a problem because of its age, but because of its design as well.

Curry said he’s planning to go to Washington, D.C. next week to lobby for a federal grant that could total $25 million. That would leave just over $13 million for the city of Jacksonville to fund.