JACKSONVILLE, Fla., December 6, 2018 -- Jacksonville is poised to “build” on its innovative transportation efforts, following a $25 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The USDOT Secretary announced today that the City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) are two recipients of its BUILD 2018 grant. Each will receive $12.5 million, enabling them to “Better Utilize Investments to Leverage Development.”
The Urban Core Riverfront Revitalization and Complete Streets project, submitted by the City of Jacksonville in July bolsters the City’s commitment to downtown development in and around the Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Complex and Shipyards. Following the completion of a Florida Department of Transportation study conducted last fall, the City announced its commitment to pursuing efforts to improve downtown access to and from the Hart Bridge. In its grant proposal, the City detailed the benefits and value of replacing a portion of the elevated western downtown access ramp with an at-grade solution, adding a pedestrian and bike friendly feature to the 50-year-old bridge. Additional plans identified in the grant include constructing a new signalized intersection at Bay Street and Gator Bowl Blvd., widening of Bay Street/Gator Bowl Blvd., construction of a ramp at A. Philp Randolph Blvd. and other traffic calming improvements.
The Bay Street Innovation Corridor project is a joint project of key community partners including the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), City of Jacksonville, North Florida Transportation Planning Organization and the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. The project will implement the first phase of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U²C) Program, down Bay Street. The corridor will incorporate technology and Smart City innovations to support economic development and enhance mobility for the citizens of Jacksonville. The project will uniquely transform downtown mobility while enhancing safety, efficiency and accessibility along a critical east-west corridor in Downtown Jacksonville and support the upsurge.
“It is a great day for transportation in Jacksonville,” said Mayor Lenny Curry, City of Jacksonville. “Our city scored two federal grants that will afford us the opportunity to enhance downtown access, improve traffic conditions and safety, and bolster innovation throughout our downtown footprint. We are incredibly grateful for our partnerships with Secretary Elaine Chao and the USDOT staff, Senator Marco Rubio, Representative John Rutherford, Representative Al Lawson and JTA CEO Nat Ford and his team. They are all true champions for our City of Jacksonville.”
JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. added, “I’m proud to stand with Mayor Curry for the dual award of these projects that join together on Bay Street. This is an example of true partnership and working together to implement the Mayor’s vision of One City, One Jax. The award of this grant money will allow JTA to execute the first phase of the anticipated Ultimate Urban Circulator (U²C), on Bay Street, from the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center (JRTC) to the City’s Entertainment District on the eastside of the corridor.”