Would you be outraged? Do you think it makes sense to close a vital traffic artery to force traffic to travel along a road to boost businesses in the area? Of course not! That is exactly what is proposed for the elevated portion of the Hart Expressway between the River and the Maxwell House Coffee plant. The City of Jacksonville wants to tear down the elevated highway and route traffic along Bay Street to encourage business at the proposed Stadium Entertainment District and the long-awaited Shipyards development.
The City Administration says it will cost $50,000,000 (that’s $50 Million) to remove the elevated highway and build the new access ramps off the bridge. Of course, it won’t cost the citizens that much because the State of Florida has allocated $12 Million and Mayor Curry plans on selling the federal government on paying a large chunk of the balance. It’s ironic that while the Congress is debating a plan to rebuild infrastructure, Jacksonville is asking for money to destroy perfectly good infrastructure. (And by the way, all monies received from the State or the Federal Government is…drum roll please “OUR MONEY.”)
The obvious solution to encourage traffic would be to add an exit ramp from the elevated roadway to Bay Street for traffic wanting to stop at the Entertainment District and the Shipyards? Why create a traffic nightmare for everyone trying to make their way to or from Downtown? Can you imagine this nightmare? It’s already bad enough trying to get in and out of downtown and this will only add to that nightmare.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?
*This headline is a dramatic illustration of the absurdity of this plan.