FDOT just laid out its first proposal for a roughly $9.25 million road project at a busy intersection in downtown St. Augustine.
The proposal would completely redesign the intersection of SR A1A and King Street, where the Bridge of Lions meets the downtown area. FDOT says it’s expected to start in fall 2027 and be finished by spring 2029.
In an area already thick with traffic, especially during rush hour, the project’s driving up traffic concerns among longtime locals like Daniel Lege.
“It’s always kind of been a problematic intersection, in my opinion,” says Lege, the food and beverage director at the Tini Martini Bar, which is a few blocks from the intersection.
Lege says the intersection at the tip of the Bridge of Lions is already pretty crowded most of the time. FDOT says its project, which the department says would add four more traffic lights to the intersection, is meant to alleviate the area of congestion.
“The idea is to add a few more lights to get things moving a bit more quickly,” says Samantha Rambeau, a community outreach specialist with FDOT.
The first design of the proposed changes to the intersection would add both a grassy median to SR A1A and another light to the turn onto the Bridge of Lions. Responding to the concept online, many people living in the area say the changes aren’t necessary and might make drive times worse.
Responding to some of the early feedback, FDOT officials say more traffic projects in the area are needed with the number of people expected to move into St. Augustine in the coming years.
“Depending on your commute, you might say “oh, it’s fine now,” but I think there are people feeling pretty jammed up here,” Rambeau says.
FDOT says the proposal isn’t final, and looks to green light a change people can agree with. Lege, on the other hand, just wants to steer away from a slower commute.
“If it helps, I’m all for it,” says Lege, “but it’s going to be an inconvenience until it’s finished.”
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]