Every now and then when you’re cruising down the interstate with the windows down, something may fly out, maybe some paper or you throw something out the window along the roadway. Someone still has to pick that up, one viewer reached out to First Coast News and said that’s not happening.
First Coast News Nick Perreault looked into who is responsible and why this hasn’t been cleaned up.
If you’ve traveled along Interstate 295 in either direction near the San Jose Boulevard exit, aside from construction you may find your eyes wandering to the shoulder because of all the trash.
My first circle around the Buckman Bridge found some debris. Sure, there were a few pieces of cardboard and some pieces of tire, but nothing major. However, that would change on my second loop. On my return, near mile marker 11 heading south on I-295, I could see plastic bottles, cans, plastic bags and boxes. Some to be fair, were your harmless leftovers from your fast food run, but others more serious like pieces of metal.
Regardless of how it got there, it shouldn’t be just sitting there.
I found out that area is maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Since this area is under construction, F-DOT says the contractor hired to do roadwork there, Dragados USA is responsible for the cleanup. They're responsible along with the Buckman bridge and East to I-95.
That includes any construction materials and anything else left behind by drivers.
“It’s something that we meet with the contractor on a weekly basis and we make sure that they’re held accountable for being good stewards of taxpayer dollars, “ FDOT public information officer Hampton Ray said.
Ray says under the contract with F-DOT, Dragados USA is required to do routine cleanup, but couldn’t elaborate on how often is ‘routine.’
“We’ll definitely follow up with the contractor and making sure that they’re held accountable not only for being good stewards of taxpayer dollars, we take pride in our roadways,”
Pride that’s taking a hit now and when I asked Ray if he was proud of the interstate’s condition:
“We’ll definitely follow up with the contractor and hold them responsible.”
F-DOT did get in touch with a Dragados USA consultant who said they’d be scheduling a cleanup sweep of the area ‘soon’, but did not specify when that would be.
Dragados USA will be responsible keeping the shoulders of I-295 in their work zone clean until their project is complete, which is expected in June.