Fuller Warren bike path plans revealed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --City Council member Robin Lumb revealed an updated plan by the Florida Department of Transportation Wednesday for a multi-use bike trail that would span the Fuller Warren Bridge.

That was not in the original plan announced in December 2013 to expand the bridge from 6 lanes to 8 lanes.

Riverside residents and other city leaders voiced concerns over possible noise and light issues based on the first plans for the expansion of the Fuller Warren Bridge at a Feb. 10 meeting and FDOT used the public's input when constructing the updated plans.

The new plan includes a 12-foot-wide multi-use bike and pedestrian trail that would run along the south side of the Fuller Warren Bridge. It would connect Riverside Avenue with Palm Avenue in San Marco.

Councilman Robin Lumb called that new pathway a "game changer" for the city.

"This is the kind of thing that will attract people to downtown living, it is one piece of the puzzle. It will attract more people to live downtown, so you have a healthier downtown. I think there is going to be a hands across the river moment when each side of the river can travel to the other unobstructed on foot or on bicycle."

It will be wide enough for pedestrians and bicyclists to share.

The project would also include multiple high noise walls along McDuff Avenue and Stockton Street and high mast shielded LED light fixtures. The DOT will also get rid of the unsightly retention ponds under the bridge from Riverside Avenue to Park Street and onto College Street. The city has plans for an artist's walk in that area. Getting rid of the ponds near College will give more room for a proposed dog park on the north side of Riverside Park in Five Points.

The newest project would cost less than the original project -- down from $136 million to $127 million.

Construction could start at the beginning of 2016 and would take about three years to complete.


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