August 31, 2005, St. Johns County Public Meeting


The public meeting was held at the St. Johns County Convention Center located at the World Golf Village Renaissance Resort, 500 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine Florida. The public meeting began at 2:00pm and concluded at 8:00 pm.  Aerial maps of the proposed corridors were made available. Court reporters were available for those wishing to make a comment and FDOT personnel were also available to discuss the project and answer any questions throughout the public meeting. The FDOT made the announcement that the Pink route is the locally preferred corridor. 

Meeting Comments

You need to build more bridges - not tear down a bridge. The idea is for less congestion - not more!

I have lived at this address for 13 years and have watched and experienced the growth. I find it hard to believe the DOT is listening to the City Comm. Who have deep pockets with builders! We will survive - find new doctors, etc. The biggest problem is going to be during an evacuation - please re-think this.

Everyone was knowledgeable - was a little disappointed in how we will have to go to get to Green Cove Springs, but it's still the best way. FL turnpike man, Mike Lewis, was very knowledgeable too.

Please send an 11 x 17 of overall Pink plan and Sheet #8. The pink route is far superior than the other designs. Black would be a distant #2. However, you need a route that will be advantageous for commercial and passenger traffic to relieve congestion from taking I-94 thru the City. PINK IS GREAT!

I understand that Clay County is still evaluating the alignment of College Drive from CR 739 to CR 209. At present, the pink route overlaps this future roadway and how these two roads work together has not been determined. This future extension of College Drive is critical to alleviating traffic congestion from future land uses as defined in Lake Asbury Master Plan and the beltway must NOT block or isolate it.

I am in support of the efforts of FDOT in allowing road crossings for future planned roads as shown in the Lake Asbury Master Plan.

I fully agree that the pink should be the preferred option. Given the growth in the areas of World Golf Village, Nocatee and Palencia and the proposed new mall near WGV this makes the most sense.

Shame on you for selling out to the interests of the people with money: the big developers and the commissioners that they have in their back pocket. You are ruining beautiful and historic Orangedale. It goes to show you. All of the public meetings were for naught; the decision had been made years ago and the meetings were a farce.

Good forum to ask one-on-one questions. Representatives were most helpful and informative.

To access the new bridge is nearly impossible! In a hurricane evacuation this will be a dangerous situation. Unless the Shands Bridge stays we will file a lawsuit over this issue. A ramp at SR 13 would solve the problem.

The section of the pink corridor between CR 739B (Sandridge Rd) and SR 16 needs to be moved further west through Reinhold lands so its intersection with CR 218 connector is next or within the Activity Center land use designation of the Lake Asbury Master Plan. Also, interchange near US 17 should be moved further west to allow a connection (bypass) from US 17 at CR 15A to CR 315 north of SR 16. This would allow a bypass around Green Cove Springs.

I think we are building a toll road it should be the purple route where you are assured of business at this time. If it has to be the pink route I would like to see 2 lanes go where the existing bridge is and then only need to add 2 lanes. I would prefet NOT to have a toll road at all.

I want to congratulate you on the selection of the pink route. It is the one that makes the most sense and seems to be the most cost effective. We need to get started as soon as possible.

It appears that the preferred Pink Route seems to serve the most people. Even if it needs to have tolls to fund its building.

Please consider moving the new bridge closer to where the current Shands Bridge is. This would require less funds to purchase property not currently owned by the State, and it would greatly help our Steamboat Road neighborhood by keeping the new bridge as far away from our homes as possible. Since the plan is to tear down the current Shands bridge, it appears most logical to put the new structure in as close to the old one as possible to minimize the impact to homeowners. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

I live on a street that runs north parallel to the st johns river about 1/4 mile east of the bridge. I just bought the house less than a year ago. What is going to happen to my home? Are my family and I going to be thrown out of our home? I understand that the buffer zone will basically wipe out this street and all the homes on it. Is this true? I have a huge amount of money invested in this property. Will I now not be able to sell it if I so desire? I had planned to sell in the future and use the money to fund my retirement. What do I do now? Retire in poverty? Almost all of our money is tied up in this house and if we loose it, there will be no retirement fund.

What do I do? Do I have any rights?

Please answer my questions as I am going crazy over this.

Would like aerial of Hwy 17 interchange showing the southerly intersection of Highway 17 and SR 15A - southwest quadrant of 17 interchange.

Please help with the traffic on 210. It takes FOREVER to get to I-95.

I am a retired United Methodist Minister. My wife and I moved from Michigan to Penney Farms in 2002. Your pink plan will bring more people close to us and we hope many will join us as residents of Penney Farms.

1. I strongly approve your choice of the pink route crossing the St. Johns River at or close to present bridge.

2. Like the idea of a toll road to speed up building of the highway

3. Congratulations and thanks to you for this kind of educational presentation. More people will be able to speak to knowledgeable people and them their questions answered. Congratulations for planning for enough ahead to provide use earlier and to keep cost down.

I plan to attend all three of these information sessions.

1. I want to understand your plans and rational so that I will be better able to answer questions from our Penney Retirement Community residents.

2. Also, I plan to be elected to the Clay County Board of County Commissioners in 2008 (from District one). 2A. I helped with the campaign to get the county commissioners to be elected by the district that they live in and will represent.

3. Since I plan to be in a leadership role in Clay County, I feel that it is important for me to immerse myself in the future development of clay County and the whole northeastern corner of Florida.

4. About 1/2 of the proposed mileage of this project in Clay County and the bridge will be in my District #1. All of Clay County residents will be affected by this new highway. My district will be especially impacted by this new highway.

Thanks for the opportunity to express my point of view.

This is my second comment card!

I am from Clay County and on my first card gave reasons especially fitting the arguments from a Clay County perspective. Now, on the second card - I want to address what I see as the special interests of St. Johns County.

1. St. Johns County has two major metropolitan areas, Jacksonville to the north and St. Augustine to the south.

2. Jacksonville has already spread to the south in northern St. Johns County. St. Augustine has not expanded as much - but it is a big metropolitan area in the south of St. Johns County.

3. If this new highway comes across St. Johns County more toward the middle of the county, it will cause less disturbance to housing already built or to be built before this highway is completed.

4. A sight for the new highway - near the mid point between Jacksonville and St. Augustine would allow for development of factories and service centers serving and employing people from north and south of the preferred pink route.

5. May of the new developments could use larger sites in acreage or square footage than are now available closer to the cities of Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

6. The highway exchanges would be advantageous to industry or wholesale headquarters - because trucks could more easily bring or take products to and from these sites.

7. Workers could live closer to the central cities - but still drive to work at the centrally located businesses that would develop along I-95 and the new highway.

8. Therefore, I think those in leadership who have chosen the pink or central St. Johns County route

9. and also, traffic using this new road or bypass of Jacksonville to the south, or to the west and north could go around or by Jacksonville more easily than now is possible.

I thank you for listening.

The preferred route makes the least sense.

1. Conservative DOT figures have this route costing more than $250K per day in gas for users of either southern route.

2. The preferred route costs the most to build.

3. The preferred route moves the least amount of traffic

4. The preferred route impacts the wealthier property owner in Clay County by making property they own that is of low value, become high value commercial property (they are funding by "donating" their cheap property.

5. That leaves the people on both sides that have to use the Shands Bridge with no way to cross without considerable cost in either tolls or gas to take the Buckman or Palatka Bridge. We have 2 bridges 20 miles apart. A 3rd bridge is desperately needed. But we are going to spend 1.8B to build a toll road on the same site as the Shands after tearing the Shands down. What is conspicuous consumption if not this? Our tax dollars are building this not the county commissioners who want a fiscally enhanced portion of property. Our tax dollars paid for the Shands to be a free bridge. We shouldn't replace it with a toll bridge. The people using the Shands day in and day out use it for work, shopping and medical. They can't use a toll road that's forced on them to go back and forth day in and day out. This is wrong/corrupt and should be illegal but its bureaucracy! Not progress!

We need another river crossing, not build a bridge where there is already one. The purple crossing makes sense. Then I am being told that not only is DOT going to build a bridge where there is already a bridge, but now tear down the existing Shands that will serve local traffic from Green Cove Springs to Orangedale. If money is the issue then do the purple corridor, more cars will use it and it will pay for itself faster.

This is my 2nd comment card!

My first preference was for Pink, but now for the route and the fact that you get another bridge I now prefer the black. Reasons: 1. The location of a more northern bridge is better for the greater current population, 2. could keep Shands Bridge and 3. from Clay County you shouldn't have to so south of Green Cove Springs just to cross the river. It would also be a big help if the termination at highway 95 (pink or black) would extend over to highway 1.

Thanks for the public meeting.

I do not support the decision to use the pink route especially since the development concluding the "old" Shands Bridge be torn down. All the studies need to take the NET impact into consideration because you will be taking away performance of the

Should like to see the PINK corridor finalized soon!

I understand the "PINK" is the preferred, but the "Purple" is the best for moving people and will cost a lot less. The Shands bridge needs to stay where it is and a new bridge crossing should be located where the Purple route is crossing the river, more cars could be moved each day.

And if there is a toll road people won't have a choice of what bridge to use. Two is better than one! I really do believe the "Pink" route is too costly, even for a toll road.

Why do you have the Engineering Department, if you don't listen to them. They know the "Purple" route is the best.

If the FDOT cannot fund this project then the public should be able to vote as to the future of the project and be able to vote on tolls or no tolls. At any rate the existing bridge should be left in tack for local traffic. There are a lot of bridges older than this bridge still standing.

This needs to tie in to CR 210W. ASAP. You can hardly get to I95 and this would alleviate a great deal of the problem.

It would have been nice to have examples of everything at one place and one (at least) of our representatives here to talk with. It would also be nice to have a map showing how it is now with a clear layover to show us how wide/long etc., this would be when layed over the pictures of how it is now. It's extremely difficult to understand by looking at a line and an estimated number of feet from my home.

Prefer the Pink corridor.

Please build with eyes on safety - disabled vehicles; or debris falling from trucks - extra room for cars to avoid these problems. This route makes the most sense and I support this route.

It appears that the FDOT is going to extraordinary ends to skirt Ringhoffer property.

If Ringhoffer is donating the land, or making it available for less than market, then Florida tax payers are served.

If on the other hand, Florida tax payers have to purchase the right-of-way, as shown, at market value, then Florida tax payers should expect the most direct and cheaper alternative. It would be difficult to make a case for the proposed route being cheaper, or more direct.

Land taken for public use is a fact of citizenship. A right-of-way that is necessary for a public highway clearly fits the founding father's definition of public good.

Will the beltway and/or Leo Maguire extension cross my property? N of 16A by Silverleaf could you send me a map?

Still prefer purple route - cheaper and connects 2 areas of higher population and provides easy connection to 9A/9B. Pink route - why not build 2 lanes to south of current bridge, then build 2 more lanes where current bridge is, and causing less impact on homes and neighborhoods.

If the decision is final to use the "Pink" route and the Shands Bridge will be demolished, use the right-of-way from 16 and the Shands Bridge (about 200 feet) as part of the 400' total right-of-way needed for the new road taking 200' less of Steamboad Road. The old road (Hwy 16) could even be under the roadway since it is elevated.






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