The big breaking news is in: The Hart Bridge Ramps to downtown are coming down and our taxpayer dollars will pay for it. Pay for Mr. Shad Khan — a billionaire — to see his dream become a reality.
Forty-five years ago, the citizens of Duval County paid to build the Hart Bridge and its elevated roadway to facilitate travel to downtown Jacksonville. Now, the city has twice the population and Shad Khan demands that the ramp be removed before he will proceed with the Shipyard project. This will coerce everyone to drive through his planned development to reach downtown. As someone who uses the Hart Bridge to reach downtown several times a week, I resent traffic being slowed for Mr. Kahn’s benefit.
Before we begin the work to intentionally worsen traffic going downtown, we should demand to know the full price that taxpayers will pay to enable Mr. Kahn to build his riverfront development. I’ve had multiple politicians tell me that we will find out the citizens cost to develop the Shipyards only after the Mayor’s race is decided.
I am reminded that not a single dollar of city, county or state money went into the TownCenter development. It was well planned and entirely financed privately. I guess building in a cow pasture is not as risky as building on prime riverfront land.