Update: Phase 2 of First Coast Expressway underway, more construction starting this year

Lauren Fox

Project map with a construction timelinePhoto byFlorida Department of Transportation

The $11.5 million First Coast Expressway is in phase two of construction, connecting Blanding Boulevard to North State Road 16 by 2026, according to Senior Vice President of the Clay Economic Development Corporation Laura Pavlus.

Construction of the road is currently underway in Middleburg and Green Cove Springs. The third stage of construction is planned to begin this year and includes a new bridge over the St. Johns River and a roadway that connects to St. Johns County.

Meant to reduce congestion, the toll road will stretch about 46 miles upon completion, connecting Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties. The first part of the project began in 2013 and was completed in the summer of 2018. The final part is expected to be built by 2030, according to the Florida Department of Transportation website.

As Clay County’s population grows and more people commute to surrounding areas, the Expressway aims to combat traffic congestion and reduce the travel time between neighboring counties.

In Clay County, $130 million was bonded for building connector roads to the Expressway, wrote Pavlus. New commercial and residential developments, such as the Clay Town Center and a 4,000-home development by BTI Partners, are planned along the Expressway.

The Expressway is being funded by Florida Turnpike Enterprise in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation. Drivers will pay to use the road with a Sunpass.

For more information about the First Coast Expressway, including maps and FAQs, click here.

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Lauren Fox is a Florida-born and raised journalist covering Clay County's growth, environment, people and beyond.

Jacksonville, FL

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