What is the McCoys Creek Restoration Project?
The City of Jacksonville has committed $105.4 million over the next three years to restore McCoys Creek to a natural state and in the process, mitigate the ongoing and chronic flooding on McCoys Creek Boulevard and in the nearby neighborhoods.
Groundwork Jacksonville, a local nonprofit, has partnered with the City to engage residents and community stakeholders on a vision plan and design for McCoys Creek that will reduce flooding, improve water quality, restore and add fish and wildlife habitats and create a more resilient ecosystem.
In addition, the project will provide parks, trails, access to creek and recreation opportunities and other amenities. Bridges on Stockton and King streets will be replaced with new bridges at higher elevations. Bike paths and sidewalks will be added to both bridges.
Where is McCoys Creek located?
McCoys Creek is located west of downtown Jacksonville. The head of McCoys Creek is just west of Leland Street and then travels southeast through several neighborhoods, including Lackawanna, Mixon Town and Brooklyn as well as the Rail Yard District. The creek outfalls to the St. Johns River near the Acosta Bridge.
What is included in the McCoys Creek Restoration Project?
- Creek restoration (flood mitigation)
- Removal of McCoys Creek Boulevard
- Construction of cul-de-sacs and additional roadwork
- Elevation and replacement of King and Stockton Street bridges
- Trail construction (Emerald Trail)
How will this project benefit the areas adjacent to McCoys Creek?
In addition to flood mitigation, the McCoys Creek Restoration will include:
- Trees and native plants
- Landscaping, lighting and benches
- Picturesque green spaces
- Neighborhood sidewalks and trails
- Connections to the Emerald Trail
- Open views and access to McCoys Creek
Concept: Emerald Trail in McCoys Creek
Concept: Park overlook in McCoys Creek
How will this project impact traffic?
When McCoys Creek Boulevard is removed, Edison Avenue, Stockton, King and Forest streets will become the main travel routes to and from the community.
McCoys Creek Boulevard will remain open from Cherokee Street to Fitzgerald Street, providing access to McDuff Avenue, and from Claude to Goodwin streets to provide access under the railroad crossing.
Traffic studies show that the alternate routes will create no more than a 20 percent increase in traffic —below the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) capacity guidelines — and will have minimal impact on emergency response time. Residents should also see fewer commercial vehicles traveling through the neighborhood.
Is McCoys Creek Boulevard going to be removed permanently?
Why is McCoys Creek Boulevard being removed?
McCoys Creek Boulevard is a low-lying road that is located squarely in the floodplain of McCoys Creek. Minimal rain causes the creek to overflow and routinely floods the road and into nearby neighborhoods.
Flooding on McCoys Creek Boulevard
Concept: Natural flood mitigation features in restored McCoys Creek
How will the restoration project fix the flooding?
In the past, McCoys Creek was forced into an artificial straight line – a channel - and critical flood plains were destroyed. The stream restoration project will restore natural channel design – a meander - to McCoys Creek, expand the flood plain and provide more room for water runoff. In addition, the project will deepen the creek and add natural water containment features, such as lagoons and tidal pools.
Artificial straight channel
Natural meandering design with expanded flood plain
What will happen to the King and Stockton Street bridges?
Both bridges will be replaced with new bridges at higher elevations. The new bridges will have sidewalks and bike lanes.
Concept: Stockton Street Bridge
What will happen to the roads that currently connect with McCoys Creek Boulevard?
Six roads will be impacted by the removal of McCoys Creek Boulevard. Of those six, five will become cul-de-sacs with landscaping, lighting and sidewalks that connect to the Emerald Trail. Those new cul-de-sacs will be on Sunshine, Leland, Crystal, Smith and Broward streets. The intersection of Nixon St. and McCoys Creek Boulevard will be reconstructed to maintain access to several properties east of Nixon Street.
McCoys Creek: Current
McCoys Creek: Future
What will the cul-de-sacs look like?
Cul-de-sacs with new trees, landscaping, lighting, connecting trails and sidewalks will be constructed at the end of five roads that currently intersect with McCoys Creek Boulevard. The cul-de-sacs are designed so emergency responders (police and fire), sanitation trucks and maintenance vehicles have convenient access to nearby properties.
Concept cul-de-sac in McCoys Creek
Concept: cul-de-sac(s) at Broward and Smith streets
Will I still have access to my home or business?
The project has been planned to ensure residents and businesses have access to their property both during and after construction. There are a few properties that will be permanently impacted by the closure of McCoys Creek Boulevard. The City is working with each of these property owners to develop practical solutions.
When will the road construction start?
What does this part of the construction include?
- McCoys Creek Boulevard from Cherokee Street to Margaret Street will be closed permanently.
- New cul-de-sacs, sidewalks, trails and landscaping.
- Areas of McCoys Creek Boulevard that will remain open for access purposes.
What will we see in the neighborhood and on nearby roads?
Large construction vehicles and equipment, construction crews and detour signs
When will the project be complete?
The project is expected to take 18-months. Weather and other unexpected events could cause delays.
*Schedules pending on creek restoration, trail and bridge construction.
- Roadwork Construction
- Leland, Crystal, Sunshine & Nixon
- Smith & Broward
- Creek Restoration
- Bridge Replacement
- Emerald Trail Construction
What will I see while the project is under construction?
McCoys Creek is a substantial project, with large equipment, construction teams, demolition of roadways and a significant amount of earthwork in widening and expanding the creek. The creek and landscape designers have extensive experience in projects of this type and expect that existing wildlife and birds will readily adjust by relocating to new habitats. However, native vegetation will take several years to take root and grow into the future design of McCoys Creek. Wherever possible, plantings, grasses and smaller trees have been added to ease the transition from construction site to a fully-integrated and natural park system.
Year 1: Initially, the McCoys Creek restoration project will be a construction site. Birds and other wildlife will temporarily migrate to nearby wooded areas.
Year 3: By year three, newly planted trees, native plants and grasses are rooted,
expanding and flourishing.
Year 7: By year seven, the area will be lush with native plants and trees.