Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and Atlantic Beach Mayor John Meserve were joined today by Jacksonville City Council Member Art Graham and other community leaders for a dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Mayport Road resurfacing and median construction project.
“Mayport Road connects two of our community's most treasured assets – our beaches and Mayport Naval Station—and I am pleased with the work that has been done to help this critical area to reach its full potential,” said Mayor Peyton. “I commend these local entities for their partnership, and I'm grateful for Mayor Meserve's vision for this crucial safety and beautification enhancement.”
“Today, we're seeing the results of an effort that started in 2001 to make Mayport Road a ‘boulevard' we can all be proud of,” said Mayor Meserve. “From an Atlantic Beach perspective, this is not the end, but the beginning of an area transformation. While enhanced esthetics from the tree lined medians are an important element, the real benefit has always been aimed at traffic safety. Averaging 140 accidents and several deaths per year, we believe the medians will both calm traffic, and provide safe shelters to pedestrians and bicycle traffic crossing the road.”
The improvements along the 3.5-mile stretch will help to create both a safer and more aesthetically-pleasing path of travel along the busy thoroughfare. The road has been resurfaced from Mayport Flyover/West Seventh Street northward to Mayport Naval Station. In addition, 14 new landscaped medians (three in Atlantic Beach and 11 in Jacksonville portion of road) were constructed with the goals of reducing the vehicular accident rate, increasing pedestrian safety by creating raised island refuges and reducing speed due to traffic calming.
Improvements to Mayport Road, which were completed two months ahead of schedule, cost approximately $5.5 million and were supported by a joint effort of the FDOT, the City of Jacksonville and the City of Atlantic Beach.
The FDOT contribution toward resurfacing, signalization upgrade and maintenance of the state road totaled approximately $3.5 million. The City of Atlantic Beach also contributed approximately $500,000 toward the improvements. The City of Jacksonville utilized its Tree Trust Fund ($707,000) and Town Center Program ($828,000) to facilitate design work, median improvement funds, project management and construction.
Projects funded by the Town Center Program are guided by a vision plan created by interested citizens and business owners in the area of the project. The median work was initiated by Mayor Meserve and the City of Atlantic Beach Commission. Various landscaping schemes were presented to the public for selection of the final plan, and there was coordination between the two entities to ensure a seamless and uniform landscape scheme throughout.
The project incorporated a broad and intensive public outreach effort including multiple community and business association meetings. Council members from the Cities of Jacksonville and Atlantic Beach, along with representatives of FDOT, Mayport Naval Station, the Cities of Jacksonville and Atlantic Beach Public Works Departments and the City of Jacksonville Planning Department collaborated on the project.
Prior to the conception of the project, an initial traffic study was prepared for the Transportation Planning Organization by Reynolds Smith and Hills, Inc. and the traffic study was updated by G.A.I. Consultants, Inc. during the design phase. Construction began in April 2008.