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Author Topic: First Coast Expressway  (Read 13800 times)

edwaleni

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First Coast Expressway
« on: January 15, 2017, 09:02:54 PM »

There is a new expressway/tollroad under construction currently creating a new western beltway around greater Jacksonville, through Clay County near Green Cove Springs crossing a new bridge over the St Johns River and ending with a major interchange with I-95 in St Johns County.

Details on the construction status, routing and planning can be found here.

http://firstcoastexpressway.com/

At the moment it is signed as FL23.  The tollway from the Cecil Commerce Center to Blanding Boulevard is just more than 50% complete.

The current ROW end at Blanding Boulevard is overpass complete with ramps still under work.



The ROW going north of Blanding is nearing completion with the base pavement down and installation of the ePass overhead grids in place.



FL23 gets bounced back and forth depending on the completion level of the ROW.



As far as the expressway south of Blanding to Clay County and over to I-95, it will require a new bridge over the St John's River to replace the current 2 lane (narrow) Shands Bridge.



This is still in planning and there is still much ROW to acquire in Clay County.  There is also some governance issues on the fact a free bridge (Shands) is being replaced by a Toll Bridge.  People on the east bank of the St Johns River cross the bridge to go to Green Cover Springs for retail frequently.  Lack of retail in ex-urban St Johns County is an issue currently, but many believe will be resolved when I-795/CR2209 is completed.

The schedule for the rest of the expressway is as follows:

First Coast Expressway (I-95 to Blanding Blvd, Currently Being Designed)


Construction Cost (estimated): $897 Million

Schedule:

    Right of Way acquisition (estimated completion by 2020)
    Design and Permitting (estimated completion by 2020)
    Construction (not currently scheduled)

Project Improvements:

    Construct a multi-lane divided expressway from I-95 to Blanding Blvd.
    Construct a new crossing of the St. Johns River south of the existing Shands Bridge.
    Construct drainage ponds and an underground storm water system.
    Build automated tolling facilities for electronically paid tolls.

There are discussions on if this expressway will be extended north into Nassau County and reconnect with I-95 somewhere near Yulee.

Naming conventions are currently under speculation. It will stay signed FL23 indefinitely. If the road stays a I-10 to I-95 beltway, current thoughts are it will signed I-310.

If they are able to complete the beltway all the way into Nassau County some think it will be a derivative of I-95 instead of I-10.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 09:19:48 PM »

That's pretty disappointing to hear that the Shands Bridge is being replaced with a toll facility.  I like the idea of 23 but that's pretty crappy to replace an existing structure that isn't tollled.  Hopefully something can be worked out before the second half of the project gets going.  Maybe it can be addressed with a free lane for FL 16 traffic that is separated from 23 traffic?
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jwolfer

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 09:50:00 PM »

That's pretty disappointing to hear that the Shands Bridge is being replaced with a toll facility.  I like the idea of 23 but that's pretty crappy to replace an existing structure that isn't tollled.  Hopefully something can be worked out before the second half of the project gets going.  Maybe it can be addressed with a free lane for FL 16 traffic that is separated from 23 traffic?
People here are bitching about a new toll bridge. It will be AET. I would imagine they will have it set up so if you just cross bridge, using first exit no charge

LGMS428

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jwolfer

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 09:55:27 PM »

There is a new expressway/tollroad under construction currently creating a new western beltway around greater Jacksonville, through Clay County near Green Cove Springs crossing a new bridge over the St Johns River and ending with a major interchange with I-95 in St Johns County.

Details on the construction status, routing and planning can be found here.

http://firstcoastexpressway.com/

At the moment it is signed as FL23.  The tollway from the Cecil Commerce Center to Blanding Boulevard is just more than 50% complete.

The current ROW end at Blanding Boulevard is overpass complete with ramps still under work.



The ROW going north of Blanding is nearing completion with the base pavement down and installation of the ePass overhead grids in place.



FL23 gets bounced back and forth depending on the completion level of the ROW.



As far as the expressway south of Blanding to Clay County and over to I-95, it will require a new bridge over the St John's River to replace the current 2 lane (narrow) Shands Bridge.



This is still in planning and there is still much ROW to acquire in Clay County.  There is also some governance issues on the fact a free bridge (Shands) is being replaced by a Toll Bridge.  People on the east bank of the St Johns River cross the bridge to go to Green Cover Springs for retail frequently.  Lack of retail in ex-urban St Johns County is an issue currently, but many believe will be resolved when I-795/CR2209 is completed.

The schedule for the rest of the expressway is as follows:

First Coast Expressway (I-95 to Blanding Blvd, Currently Being Designed)


Construction Cost (estimated): $897 Million

Schedule:

    Right of Way acquisition (estimated completion by 2020)
    Design and Permitting (estimated completion by 2020)
    Construction (not currently scheduled)

Project Improvements:

    Construct a multi-lane divided expressway from I-95 to Blanding Blvd.
    Construct a new crossing of the St. Johns River south of the existing Shands Bridge.
    Construct drainage ponds and an underground storm water system.
    Build automated tolling facilities for electronically paid tolls.

There are discussions on if this expressway will be extended north into Nassau County and reconnect with I-95 somewhere near Yulee.

Naming conventions are currently under speculation. It will stay signed FL23 indefinitely. If the road stays a I-10 to I-95 beltway, current thoughts are it will signed I-310.

If they are able to complete the beltway all the way into Nassau County some think it will be a derivative of I-95 instead of I-10.
I havent seen anything about I-310.  I have been driving the road since construction first started.  Thanks for the pics

Middleburg will grow a lot more once this is fully open. It will be so much faster to go to St Augustine

LGMS428
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edwaleni

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2018, 12:12:37 PM »

The First Coast Expressway Tollroad (FL-23) is now open down to Blanding Boulevard (FL-21).

It is "free" from I-10 south to New World Avenue for those trying to reach Cecil Commerce Center, then it is an electronic collection after that.

While Google Maps and others haven't quite caught up, a weather service map (Intellicast) does show it complete and the planned route down to Green Cove Springs, the new Shands Bridge and east  to I-95.

With the opening of I-795 and now FL-23 in the last month and the completion of the Overland Bridge downtown, the Jacksonville Metro has seen a highway building boom.

FL-23 tollroad construction is continuing on south of Blanding now.  Clearing of land north and south of Black Creek has started.  Barges that were collecting core samples for the new Shands Bridge finished their work and have left.

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The Ghostbuster

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2018, 03:09:55 PM »

Will the First Coast Expressway's exits be numbered? And if so, where will mile 0 be? At Interstate 10 or Interstate 95?
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1995hoo

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2018, 03:58:21 PM »

We have a friend who lives at the southern end of Lake Asbury and I've found that FL-21 north to I-295 is a miserable drive when we visit her. This road looks like a terrific alternative even if it is a little bit out of the way distance-wise. Sure will change the character of that area once development follows the road, though.
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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2018, 04:02:32 PM »

While Google Maps and others haven't quite caught up, a weather service map (Intellicast) does show it complete and the planned route down to Green Cove Springs, the new Shands Bridge and east  to I-95.

Apple Maps has it showing (the part that's actually complete), although it's not freeway-colored.
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edwaleni

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2018, 12:48:12 AM »

Will the First Coast Expressway's exits be numbered? And if so, where will mile 0 be? At Interstate 10 or Interstate 95?

Great question. I do not know.

Before I reach out for an answer , I would hazard a guess to say it will start at I-95.

Why?

Because they are discussing a north extension to Yulee.
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Strider

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2018, 01:37:37 AM »

Will the First Coast Expressway's exits be numbered? And if so, where will mile 0 be? At Interstate 10 or Interstate 95?

Great question. I do not know.

Before I reach out for an answer , I would hazard a guess to say it will start at I-95.

Why?

Because they are discussing a north extension to Yulee.


A extension to Yulee? wow. They're really building a outer beltway around Jacksonville. Will they build the eastern part?
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froggie

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2018, 09:13:51 AM »

^ Where would an eastern part go?  Except for unbuildable wetlands along the St. Johns River and the Intracoastal Waterway, land is already developed from Jacksonville to the Beach.

I think it's safe to say there won't be an eastern part.
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edwaleni

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 03:54:55 PM »

Will the First Coast Expressway's exits be numbered? And if so, where will mile 0 be? At Interstate 10 or Interstate 95?

Great question. I do not know.

Before I reach out for an answer , I would hazard a guess to say it will start at I-95.

Why?

Because they are discussing a north extension to Yulee.


A extension to Yulee? wow. They're really building a outer beltway around Jacksonville. Will they build the eastern part?

When it was first built, there was no accommodation for a future north ROW. The ramps were designed for southbound only.

Thanks to a request from 2 very large grocery firms located on Beaver Street, FDOT decided to place a northbound capability with a future extension in mind to be done at the same time the tollway franchise was awarded.

Discussions about a Yulee based extension then came to the front. It has grown more since Amazon opened a facility at JIA.

Just as the tollroad will support Clay County access to Cecil based jobs, the wisdom is that the same will occur for Nassau residents coming south.

It also takes a large amount of truck pressure off of I-95 and I-295 on the northside  That is currently being reconstructed. It had one of those left side exit ramps to go north and it was functionally obsolete. There had already been a lot of truck accidents there.

So at this point I would say if the toll road being built now really takes off on revenue, pressure to go north will go through the roof.
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flaroads

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 04:26:59 PM »

Will the First Coast Expressway's exits be numbered? And if so, where will mile 0 be? At Interstate 10 or Interstate 95?

Yes, the First Coast Expressway (SR 23) has exit numbers, and they will count up from the future Interstate 95 connection in St. Johns County. SR 21 is Exit 31 while Interstate 10 is Exit 46AB. By the way, I previously mentioned this in the Florida thread some weeks ago, listing out all the exit numbers along the opened part of the expressway.

Because they are discussing a north extension to Yulee.

Are you referring to Nassau County, because they do have it advocated for an extension in their Regional Multimodal Transportation Plan (from September 2016)?
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Chris

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2018, 11:09:15 AM »

When did they open the I-10 to SR-21 stretch of the First Coast Expressway? I tried to find it on Google but got no news results.

The project website still says October 2018: http://firstcoastexpressway.com/index.shtml

The AA Roads blog post says it was open at least by July 31: https://www.aaroads.com/blog/first-coast-expressway-open-to-traffic/

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2018, 11:25:20 AM »

When did they open the I-10 to SR-21 stretch of the First Coast Expressway? I tried to find it on Google but got no news results.

The project website still says October 2018: http://firstcoastexpressway.com/index.shtml

The AA Roads blog post says it was open at least by July 31: https://www.aaroads.com/blog/first-coast-expressway-open-to-traffic/

I received several emails from Matt Kingsley with photos of the new expressway that he took on July 13. So its been open since at least then.

edwaleni

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2018, 02:06:11 PM »

Will the First Coast Expressway's exits be numbered? And if so, where will mile 0 be? At Interstate 10 or Interstate 95?

Yes, the First Coast Expressway (SR 23) has exit numbers, and they will count up from the future Interstate 95 connection in St. Johns County. SR 21 is Exit 31 while Interstate 10 is Exit 46AB. By the way, I previously mentioned this in the Florida thread some weeks ago, listing out all the exit numbers along the opened part of the expressway.

Because they are discussing a north extension to Yulee.

Are you referring to Nassau County, because they do have it advocated for an extension in their Regional Multimodal Transportation Plan (from September 2016)?

I haven't looked at a Nassau transportation planning document in awhile.  Last time I did most of it was advocating for US-301/FL-200 between Callahan and I-95 improvements.  With the new updates on US-301 at Baldwin and Starke, that made sense.

But any plan to extend FL-23 Toll north will have to contend with Whitehouse Naval Airfield. It's an auxiliary airfield, mostly used for carrier cat and trap practice. I think its the only one south of Norfolk, VA as nearby NS Mayport is designed to port carriers.

So if it goes west, it will run into US-301.  If it goes east, it will run into a great deal of "rural-residential" in Duval and west of the airport (plus 2 WMA's).  It will be interesting to see where it all goes.

And thank you for posting the mile markers.

 

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2018, 03:08:45 PM »

It was mentioned upthread that there is no toll from I-10 to New World Avenue.  I took the new expressway from FL 228 to I-10 and there's no transaction on my Sunpass account yet.  My others from the past week on the Veterans Expressway and the Sunshine Skyway posted by the time I first checked (same day).  Not sure if it's still free for now or it's just slow to post.

This definitely will open up FL 21 as an alternate way to the area for me.  The one time I took 21 all the way from FL 20 to I-295 a few years back was one time too many for me.  It was taking multiple light cycles to move through those last few miles.  I recall the rest as being pleasant enough, but the frustration at the end was enough to make me forget about all that.
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edwaleni

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2018, 04:43:44 PM »

Will the First Coast Expressway's exits be numbered? And if so, where will mile 0 be? At Interstate 10 or Interstate 95?

Yes, the First Coast Expressway (SR 23) has exit numbers, and they will count up from the future Interstate 95 connection in St. Johns County. SR 21 is Exit 31 while Interstate 10 is Exit 46AB. By the way, I previously mentioned this in the Florida thread some weeks ago, listing out all the exit numbers along the opened part of the expressway.

Because they are discussing a north extension to Yulee.

Are you referring to Nassau County, because they do have it advocated for an extension in their Regional Multimodal Transportation Plan (from September 2016)?

OK, yes, I remember this document (RTC NE Florida) now. Bringing back a Tampa-Jacksonville Expressway plan got all the attention & press. It was to include a route via Gainesville.

Essentially, NE Florida is trying to raise the cost of road travel through the area to force more people into accepting transit. "Cost" can include longer drive times, Lexus Lanes, no lane additions, etc.
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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2018, 06:57:49 PM »

Are there any longer-term plans to extend this northward from I-10 and if so, what might they be?  Eyeballing aerial images of the interchange there, it looks to me to be too 'high powered' for the highway to permanently end at US 90.

Mike
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edwaleni

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2018, 07:28:12 PM »

Are there any longer-term plans to extend this northward from I-10 and if so, what might they be?  Eyeballing aerial images of the interchange there, it looks to me to be too 'high powered' for the highway to permanently end at US 90.

Mike

Discussions have been underway for awhile (after the Beaver Street exit was added) and its being added to some long range planning documents (noted above).

Jacksonville just announced bids were going out for a very large manufacturing space on the largest open parcel at Cecil Commerce.  I suspect if they do attract a very large tenant, then an extension to I-95 at Yulee will begin to grow.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2018, 04:55:21 PM »

Maybe we could start a thread in Fictional Highways on how far north of Interstate 10 we'd fantasize the FCE would go. I'd vote we extend it into Georgia (fictionally, of course).

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edwaleni

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2018, 01:49:05 PM »

Maybe we could start a thread in Fictional Highways on how far north of Interstate 10 we'd fantasize the FCE would go. I'd vote we extend it into Georgia (fictionally, of course).

It will never reach Georgia. It is a Florida grown project and will end at Yulee.

Georgia has no desire to make it easier for residents to reach Florida.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2018, 06:29:19 PM »

I know it won't, and I didn't expect it to reach Georgia. I was merely stating where I would send the northern end to, if there was a Fictional Highways thread on the northern terminus of the FCE.
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1995hoo

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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2018, 04:59:59 PM »

Something I was doing for work yesterday had me looking at Google Maps in the Middleburg area and I couldn't help but notice an unusual DDI along the new highway—it's essentially combining a T-intersection on which one leg is a one-way road with a DDI. I guess calling it a "DDT" would be bad form if you know your environmental history! Anyway, it struck me as a sensible design and I wondered whether anyone knows of any other DDIs that look like this.

Unfortunately, the map is incomplete, and Bing Maps doesn't show it at all, but you can get a good enough sense of the design from the links below.

Map view (the map and the satellite omit the highway itself, but basically just picture the north-south roads it shows as though they were frontage roads): https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1587467,-81.8306502,17.6z

Street View giving a decent sense of how it would look when done: https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1590698,-81.8301932,3a,60y,332.23h,87.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sGjYWNrcBIiTBPJshAwnUnQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
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Re: First Coast Expressway
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2018, 06:43:21 PM »

It was mentioned upthread that there is no toll from I-10 to New World Avenue.  I took the new expressway from FL 228 to I-10 and there's no transaction on my Sunpass account yet.  My others from the past week on the Veterans Expressway and the Sunshine Skyway posted by the time I first checked (same day).  Not sure if it's still free for now or it's just slow to post.

….

It appears there is still no toll as of yesterday, as our SunPass has no charges from that road. The rate signs were partly covered.

I have to say the ramp from westbound I-10 to southbound 23 is probably the longest ramp I can recall driving.


Edited to fix a typo (autocorrect changed "rate" to "rare" for some reason)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:55:25 AM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
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