The first phase of construction has begun on the State Road (SR) 9B project near Jacksonville, Fla.
The project, which has been stalled since the mid-1970s, is being funded almost completely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“This project has been on hold for more than 30 years, and because of the Recovery Act, the wait is over,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Of the total $76.8 million project cost, $76 million are Recovery Act dollars, which represents the largest Recovery Act investment in Jacksonville. The state was able to make its spending go further after the winning bid came in 10 percent lower than the original $84 million engineering estimate.
When completed in 2012, the new five-mile, four-lane divided highway will help relieve congestion by providing an additional transportation option. SR 9A will continue to be used by commuters from the business district on the west side of Jacksonville, and SR 9B will help drivers to U.S. 1 and to the airport north of the city.