Tolls coming to Interstate 295 by 2017

Published On: Jun 14 2012 05:36:52 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 15 2012 10:30:00 AM EDT

Plans are in place to include express lanes on I-295. Some say there's no way they're paying that extra fee. Others agree with the decision. We asked the Department of Transportation's Mike Goldman to explain the decision.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Florida Department of Transportation announced Thursday that by 2017, drivers can expect to pay tolls to pass sections of Interstate 295.

Officials say they are going to widen three stretches of I-295, and one lane in each direction would have a toll for drivers who want to avoid congestion and traffic.

Officials say the tolls will be added for two reasons. One is money, with officials saying the state needs to find a way to make more revenue for future projects. The other is convenience, as officials say it will give people the option to try and beat traffic by paying a premium.

The automated tolls will run from Interstate 95 to the Dames Point Bridge on the Northside, from Butler Boulevard to State Road 9B -- once it's complete -- on the Southside, and from Interstate 95 to the Buckman Bridge in the Mandarin area.

FDOT spokesman Mike Goldman said this has been planned for a while, and he thinks it will make things easier for drivers in the long run.

"It will also give people the choice: If they want to get to an area quicker, they can pay for it, and the tolls would be time-of-day pricing," Goldman said. "You would pay more to use them during your congested hours versus your non-peak hours."

The road widening project will cost about $150 million in state funds. The project is expected to start in 2014 and end in 2016 or 2017, when the automated tolls will be installed.

Mayor Alvin Brown affirmed his stance in opposition to the tolls.

"As I have said previously, I do not support tolls," Brown said in a statement. "My goal is to ensure that Jacksonville residents who use these highways continue to have access to free lanes at all times."

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus