JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization and the Florida Department of Transportation are looking at putting in managed lanes on parts of Interstate 295, adding extra lanes that people will have to pay to use to beat the gridlock.
The Florida DOT presented this to the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization during their board meeting.
The segments of I-295 that will get one extra lane in each direction include Buckman Bridge to I-95, SR 9B to J. Turner Butler Blvd. and the Dames Point Bridge to I-95
There wouldn't be any toll booths to monitor these lanes. The cars would have sensors that would keep track of the amount.
All the current, existing lanes would still remain free.
This proposal came about because the Florida DOT and North Florida TPO say the gas tax is not sustainable as a source of money.
The Florida DOT said that the money they get from these managed lanes will go back into maintaining the roadways and if there is excess money, it will stay in Northeast Florida.
If they move ahead with this plan, the first set of managed lanes will roll out in 2014 from Buckman to I-95 and the other two will be installed in 2015, then 2017.
Toll roads were voted down in Jacksonville in 1989, but the Florida DOT said the managed lanes would not be taking money from drivers, but giving them another option.
The managed lanes were presented by the Florida DOT to the North Florida TPO during their board meeting as information only, so no final decision has been made.
Florida DOT spokesman Mike Goldman said the project is in the feasibility stages right now. The only thing that would change would be the lanes' merge points.
Board members appeared to be enthused about this idea and it will likely be on the agenda for the next board meeting in August.
First Coast News