Hart Bridge Exit Getting a Facelift, But Detour Raises Concerns


Hart Bridge has seen a major closure this week. Construction will last for months, reports say, highlighting a big problem that comes along with even the most welcome of projects: detours. The plan calls for an extensive detour lasting several months.

The bridge, a St. Johns River crossing, is seeing improvements at the eastbound Atlantic Boulevard off-ramp, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal. The construction is expected to finish in early 2017. Detours like this can be minor pains, and commuting time adds up. Here’s a look at the plan, and how it might affect you.

The Plan for Hart

Florida Department of Transportation plans to realign the off-ramp with the road, providing motorists with a better line of sight. FDOT believes the upgrade will keep drivers safer at the intersection. Contractors will also install better lighting, resurface the ramp, and put in guardrails, according to the Business Journal.

The Green Monster’s first off-ramp south of the St. John’s feeds into Atlantic Boulevard, but detours will be directed to University Boulevard. Drivers will be able to travel north on University to reach Atlantic, but the detour could add a few miles.

Extensive road work often leads to discomfort, and sometimes to danger. The Hart Bridge off-ramp project could make residents no stranger to the perils of detours.

Potential Hazards

Detours expose drivers to different conditions, even if they aren’t new ones. The Hart Bridge services tens of thousands of drivers, according to stats given by FDOT to the Times-Union earlier this year. Some use the Atlantic Boulevard exit, and the area is residential, so some drivers could end up going out of their way to get home.

That switch could be daunting. Atlantic Boulevard is a six-lane road, and University has just four where it meets the Hart Bridge Expressway, and both sides share a single middle turn lane down the stretch to Atlantic.

Other streets could end up being detours to detours.

Nearby artery Bartram Road runs roughly parallel to University and could see some overflow to and from Atlantic Boulevard. Bartram would take cars right past dozens of residences, plus an elementary and middle school. Those who live further west, across Pottsburg Creek, could face even longer delays.

More congestion can lead to more accidents. FDOT is working to keep detours safe for added traffic, but you can help with good driving practices, and by familiarizing yourself with route changes.

Detour Danger

Accidents happen, and Jacksonville is no stranger to potentially dangerous roads. The city has seen many extensive projects like the Overland Bridge Project disrupt traffic patterns and lengthen commutes. The Green Monster’s off-ramp project isn’t as disruptive, but can change your daily routine and put you at risk.

For more information on what our attorneys can do for you, if you get into an accident while navigating a detour or even your typical routes, check out our car accidents information page. If you’re ready to file a claim today, feel free to complete our risk-free case evaluation form.