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Jax Daily Record Friday, Aug. 9, 201905:35 PM EST

City taking step toward Hart Bridge ramp demolition

The mayor’s office wants to use $12.46 million from FDOT to remove infrastructure toward Lot J and Shipyards development.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee will consider appropriating $12.46 million from the Florida Department of Transportation to demolish a portion of the elevated concrete Hart Bridge Expressway.

The MBRC meets Monday.

A description of the project in an MBRC meeting agenda released Friday says the city will construct a street-level intersection at Gator Bowl Boulevard in place of the elevated ramp and install traffic signals, pedestrian and bike paths as “traffic calming improvements.”

The money also would also be used for construction of a ramp at A. Philip Randolph Boulevard.

City officials did not immediately respond to a records request Friday afternoon for additional information.

The Nov. 30, 2018 plan for the removal of the Hart Bridge ramp.

he City Council approved legislation in December that gave the mayor's office authority to allocate the $12.5 million from FDOT for the Hart Bridge ramp modifications. According to a summary of Ordinance 2018-785, the money will cover half of the expenses associated with the project.

Removal of the expressway ramp is a key component to Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s proposed $2.5 billion redevelopment of parking Lot J near TIAA Bank Field and the Shipyards, east of Berkman Plaza II to the WJCT Studios, and south of Bay Street and Gator Bowl Boulevard to the St. Johns River. 

Khan and the city want the development sites to connect and they say the Hart Bridge ramp is a physical barrier. 

Mayor Lenny Curry released terms Aug. 1 of a $233.3 million city-backed incentives package to develop Lot J. The proposed $450 million project would include a 300-unit residential tower, 200-room boutique hotel, 120,000-square-foot Class A office tower and a Live! Entertainment District. 

An artist's rendering of the Lot J project, with the Hart Bridge ramp removed.

The developer listed on the project is Jacksonville I-C Parcel One Holding Company LLC, a joint venture of Gecko Investments LLC, an affiliate of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and The Cordish Companies of Baltimore.

That deal needs the approval of the Downtown Investment Authority and City Council before construction can proceed.

The city issued a request for proposal July 29 for a consultant to provide construction engineering and inspection services for the Hart Bridge modifications. Bids for the project are due at 2 p.m. Aug. 21, according to a public notice.

Jaguars President Mark Lamping said in April that the Lot J groundbreaking and the start of ramp removal are expected to begin after the Jaguars complete their regular season schedule Dec. 29.

The ramp demolition could take about 18 months, he said. The project could see delays if the Jaguars host any postseason games.

The MBRC meets at 2 p.m. Monday in the Mayor's conference room on the fourth floor at City Hall, 117 W. Duval St.


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