The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) started work in late February 2016 on a project on the Interstate 10 and U.S. 301 interchange near Baldwin. The reconstruction project is designed to accommodate increased truck traffic making the northbound U.S. 301 to eastbound I-10 movement. Northbound trucks using U.S. 301 are primarily heading to Jacksonville or points north.
Florida is a major player in the global economy, ranking seventh in the U.S. for exports. In 2013, Florida exported more than $85 billion in goods, with most of those loads moving on Florida highways on the way to seaports and rail centers.
The $65 million project was awarded to Superior Construction of Jacksonville and comes on the heels of the $67 million widening of U.S. 301 north of Baldwin completed last summer.
A Baldwin Bypass project is scheduled for construction next year.
"This route is a critical part of the regional transportation network," said Pete Sheridan of VIA Consulting Services, which will oversee the construction.
The existing I-10-U.S. 301 interchange features two major truck stops that attract a sizable concentration of truck traffic.
The interchange project includes new ramps and bridges to correct the following deficiencies:
- Substandard loop ramps
- Insufficient deceleration ramp length
- Insufficient queue storage on U.S. 301
- A short weaving distance between loop ramps and southbound U.S. 301
- Substandard vertical clearance under the bridges
Because of these deficiencies, truck traffic often backs up waiting to make the northbound U.S. 301 to eastbound I-10 movement.
I-10 and U.S. 301 improvements include:
- Reconstruct the entrance ramp from U.S. 301 southbound to I-10 eastbound in the southwest quadrant of the interchange which will ultimately merge into the single-lane entrance ramp from U.S. 301 northbound to I-10 eastbound providing dual lanes and allow for merge room onto I-10
- Construct a new single-lane entrance ramp from U.S. 301 northbound to I-10 eastbound in the southeast quadrant of the interchange which will ultimately merge into the entrance ramp from U.S. 301 southbound to I-10 eastbound providing dual lanes and allow for merge room onto I-10. This will ultimately eliminate the current left turn movement at the signal and allow a free-flowing right turn lane.
- Realign and widen the exit ramp from I-10 eastbound to U.S. 301 from a single left turn lane to a dual left turn lane to U.S. 301 northbound and maintain a single right turn lane to U.S. 301 southbound.
- Construct a new single-lane exit ramp from I-10 westbound to U.S. 301 in the northeast quadrant. The ramp will ultimately split allowing for separate exit ramps for northbound and southbound U.S. 301 traffic. The new ramp design will provide a dual right turn lane controlled by a signal for northbound U.S. 301 and provide a two-lane ramp controlled by a signal for southbound U.S. 301. The new ramp will also improve I-10 westbound and provide more capacity during peak times.
- Realign the westbound entrance ramp from U.S. 301 southbound to I-10 westbound in the northwest quadrant controlled by a yield sign.
- Reconstruct turn lanes which will extend and/or eliminate both left and right turn lanes at the interchange.
Watch the project video on YouTube