New I-95 southbound lanes open in Jacksonville

Florida Department of Transportation opens new express lanes bypassing Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway exits on I-95 in Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida Department of Transportation opened three new express lanes on I-95 southbound in Jacksonville. The lanes, which allow drivers to bypass the Atlantic Boulevard and U.S. 1 (Philips Highway) exits in the city, opened Sunday. FDOT wants commuters to be aware ahead of the first major commute Tuesday morning, after the Martin Luther King Day holiday on Monday.

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"This is a major traffic shift," FDOT spokeswoman Odette Struys said. "It's going to alter the way you get off on Atlantic Boulevard and U.S. 1 because you have to make an earlier selection when you're coming off the Fuller-Warren Bridge."

Specifically, drivers wanting either the Atlantic Boulevard or Philips Highway exit will need to be in the rightmost lane of I-95 as soon as possible after passing the San Marco Boulevard (350B) exit ramp. While the new express lanes on the left will help through-drivers better avoid congestion, those three new lanes will commit drivers looking to exit at Atlantic Boulevard or U.S. 1 beyond their destinations.

"They will bypass all the exits and not be able to make a recovery until Emerson Street," Struys said.

The new configuration is permanent. It does not affect I-95 northbound traffic.