Interstate 295 (Florida)

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Interstate 295 marker

Interstate 295
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-95
Maintained by FDOT
Length: 60.864 mi[1] (97.951 km)
Existed: 1970 – present
Major junctions
Beltway around Jacksonville, Florida
  I‑10 I‑95 SR 9B SR 202
Location
Counties: Duval
Highway system
SR 294 SR 295
SR 9 Florida 9A.svg SR 9B

Interstate 295 (I-295), an auxiliary route of Interstate 95, is a beltway around central Jacksonville, Florida. The 60.864 miles (97.951 km)-long beltway consists of two segments, the West Beltway (formerly signed as simply I-295), and the East Beltway (formerly signed as State Road 9A), with I-95 serving as the dividing line between the two. The entire highway carries a hidden designation as State Road 9A by the Florida Department of Transportation.[2] The West Beltway was constructed in the 1970s, with the East Beltway being built from the 1980s-2000s.

Route description[edit]

Exit signs at the interchange with Interstate 95, on south I-295. In this picture, the East Beltway is signed as SR 9A.

Beginning at the I-95 interchange in southeastern Duval as the West Beltway, the beltway travels west, passes through the Mandarin area with interchanges at Old St. Augustine Road, and SR 13 (San Jose Boulevard). It then travels along the three mile Buckman Bridge crossing the St. Johns River immediately south of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and serves as a major connection in the southern part of Jacksonville. At the western end of the river, I-295 continues west, serving as the border between Clay County and Duval County running just north of the town of Orange Park with interchanges at US 17/SR 15 (Roosevelt Boulevard) and SR 21 (Blanding Boulevard) serving NAS Jacksonville. The freeway then turns north with full interchanges at SR 134 (103rd Street), SR 208 (Wilson Boulevard), and SR 228 (Normandy Boulevard) before reaching the interchange at Interstate 10.

North of the I-10 interchange, the western beltway loops around the northwest side of Jacksonville with full interchanges located at both Commonwealth Avenue and Pritchard Road, before curving northwest to an interchange at US 1/US 23. The road then crosses the Trout River before crossing SR 104 (Dunn Avenue), where the freeway then turns east, with interchanges at SR 115, SR 243 (International Airport Boulevard) / Duval Road, and I-95 just south of the Jacksonville International Airport, where the West Beltway ends and the East Beltway begins.

I-295 at the Buckman Bridge

East of the I-95 interchange near the airport, I-295 continues east as the East Beltway, with the next interchange being US 17. I-295 starts to curve to the southeast, with interchanges at Pulaski Road, Alta Drive/Yellowbluff Road, before orienting itself southward at the SR 105 (Zoo Parkway/Heckscher Drive) in the Fort Caroline area. The freeway then crosses the Dames Point Bridge over the St. Johns River, before continuing south towards more remote areas of the highway. Just south of the bridge, it has a partial interchange with SR 113 (Southside Connector), followed by full interchanges with Merrill Road and Monument Road, providing access to NS Mayport. Continuing south, it has full interchanges with SR 10 (Atlantic Boulevard), St. Johns Bluff Road, US 90/SR 212 (Beach Boulevard) and Town Center Parkway/University of North Florida Drive. The next interchange, J. Turner Butler Boulevard is a freeway to freeway interchange and the last completed interchange on I-295 to date, finished in 2008. After interchanges with Gate Parkway and SR 152 (Baymeadows Road) and a partial interchange with SR 9B, I-295 curves to the west, it crosses US 1 before completing the loop at I-95 in south Jacksonville.[3]

History[edit]

The current version of I-295 appeared on maps in 1967, as a loop around central Jacksonville, with the first section between I-95 in south Duval County to SR 134 (exit 16) in 1970, and the section from SR 134 to I-10 opened in 1973. The section from I-10 to Commonwealth Ave. (exit 22) opened in 1975, followed by the extension to I-95 in north Jacksonville in 1977, completing the western section of the loop.[4]

I-295 northbound at the Dames Point Bridge

The eastern section, formerly signed as SR 9A, had its first section open from I-95 in north Jacksonville to US 17 (exit 36) in 1983. The eastern half of the loop was constructed initially as a Super 2 highway with traffic lights in the late 1980s, and was not up to interstate standards. The Dames Point Bridge was signed as I-295 in 1990, but this designation was removed in 1993 and replaced by SR 9A. The final sections of SR 9A were completed in 2006, creating a complete loop around central Jacksonville. Several sections not under interstate compliance were upgraded, and the route was considered interstate ready in 2009.

The I-295 East Beltway (formerly signed as SR 9A) was designated the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway in a Florida Department of Transportation ceremony on August 27, 2009. After the Federal Highway Administration accepted the road as the eastern loop of Interstate 295 in 2010, the state was no longer able to name the highway.[5]

Improvements to the I-95 interchange north close by the airport were under construction, new lanes and a flyover ramp were constructed to help improve the interchange. This was completed in late September 2010.[citation needed]

On December 4, 2011, the two halves of the Jacksonville beltway changed over to their current designations, the West Beltway (formerly the whole of I-295), and the East Beltway (formerly State Road 9A). The East Beltway was officially given the I-295 designation, making the entire beltway I-295, with State Road 9A remaining the hidden designation for the entire beltway for FDOT purposes.[6]

In February 2011, construction began for a new interchange at Collins Road, just west of the congested Blanding Boulevard exit. The $63.4 million project was completed in December 2013, earlier than the originally projected 2014 date.[7]

Sniper incident[edit]

In 1992, a series of sniper shootings and concrete block and brick throwing attacks occurred on the West Beltway, resulting in the death of one motorist, William Klinedinst, after a concrete block landed on the hood of his moving car, causing it to crash. Another motorist, Debra Lewis, received a bullet wound to the face, and several other injuries occurred.[8] The incidents spurred then-governor Lawton Chiles to dispatch the Florida National Guard to patrol the roadway and the American Automobile Association (AAA) to issue a rare travel warning for the interstate and direct its customers to avoid its use.[9] A task force was set up by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) to investigate the incidents and, though charges were filed, they were eventually dropped. The task force was disbanded at the end of 1992 and the incidents remained unsolved to this day.[8]

Future[edit]

Southbound on I-295 East Beltway at the then-unfinished interchange with SR 9B in southeastern Jacksonville

Extending from the southeast corner of the loop is the future Interstate 795, an approximately 11-mile (18 km) expressway currently signed as State Road 9B. In May 2008, the SR 9B project was suspended by the Florida Department of Transportation. The project was reinstated in 2009, and construction of phase one began in June 2010 and opened on September 19, 2013. Construction of phase two, which will extend SR 9B from US 1 to I-95, started in May 2013 and is expected to finish in Summer 2016. After phase two is completed, SR 9B will be renamed Interstate 795.

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Jacksonville, Duval County.

Mile[1] km Old exit[10] New exit Destinations Notes
60.864–
0.000
97.951–
0.000
61 I‑95 (SR 9) – Daytona Beach, Jacksonville Signed as exits 61A (south) and 61B (north); exit 337 on I-95
2.888 4.648 1 3 Old St. Augustine Road
4.689 7.546 2 5 SR 13 (San Jose Boulevard) Signed as exits 5A (north) and 5B (south) clockwise
5.505–
8.596[11]
8.859–
13.834
Buckman Bridge over the St. Johns River
9.416 15.154 3 10 US 17 (Roosevelt Boulevard / Park Avenue / SR 15)
11.522 18.543 4 12 SR 21 (Blanding Boulevard) / Collins Road
15.738 25.328 5 16 SR 134 (103rd Street)
17.260 27.777 6 17 SR 208 (Wilson Boulevard)
19.224 30.938 7 19 SR 228 (Normandy Boulevard)
20.434 32.885 8 21 I‑10 (SR 8) – Jacksonville, Lake City Signed as exits 21A (east) and 21B (west)
22.018 35.435 9 22 Commonwealth Avenue
24.524 39.468 10 25 Pritchard Road
27.481 44.226 11 28 US 1 / US 23 (New Kings Road / SR 15) – Callahan Signed as exits 28A (south) and 28B (north)
29.816 47.984 12 30 SR 104 (Dunn Avenue)
31.466 50.640 13A 32 SR 115 (Lem Turner Road)
33.127 53.313 13C 33 International Airport Boulevard (SR 243 north) / Duval Road (CR 110) To Jacksonville International Airport
34.884 56.140 14 35 I‑95 (SR 9) – Jacksonville, International Airport, Savannah Signed as exits 35A (south) and 35B (north); exit 362 on I-95
35.705 57.462 36 US 17 (Main Street / SR 5)
37.252 59.951 37 Pulaski Road
39.531 63.619 40 Alta Drive
41.302 66.469 41 SR 105 (Zoo Parkway / Heckscher Drive)
42.665–
44.677[11]
68.663–
71.901
Dames Point Bridge over the St. Johns River
45.170 72.694 45 SR 113 (Southside Connector) / Merrill Road east (SR 116) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
45.588 73.367 46 SR 116 east (Merrill Road / Wonderwood Connector)
46.727 75.200 47 Monument Road – Naval Station Mayport
48.183 77.543 48 SR 10 (Atlantic Boulevard)
48.749 78.454 49 St. Johns Bluff Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
50.777 81.718 51 US 90 (Beach Boulevard / SR 212)
52.053 83.771 52 University of North Florida Drive / Town Center Parkway serves University of North Florida
53.157 85.548 53 SR 202 (Butler Boulevard)
54.336 87.445 54 Gate Parkway
55.719 89.671 56 SR 152 (Baymeadows Road)
57.653 92.784 58 SR 9B south to US 1 – St. Augustine Southbound exit and northbound entrance, opened on September 19, 2013
60.038 96.622 60 US 1 (Philips Highway / SR 5)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing