New Express Lanes – Northeast Florida

I-295 West Beltway express lanes sign reminds travelers southbound to be in the left lanes once they travel over the Buckman Bridge at the St. Johns River.

Northeast Florida has its first “Express Lanes” that opened recently on Interstate 295 (I-295) West Beltway in Jacksonville. Travelers will encounter the new restricted lanes on part of the south side of town near Orange Park.

General purpose lanes with no tolls will remain while tolls for the two Express Lanes in each direction will fluctuate depending on traffic volume. The tolls are designed to help balance traffic while allowing travelers a more predictable travel speed, at a minimum of 45 m.p.h.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Express Lanes will use time-of-day pricing. “Customers choosing to travel in the express lanes will only be charged during rush hour travel periods. A $0.50 static toll will be implemented Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM–10:00 AM and from 3:00 PM–7:00 PM. Customers will not be charged a toll to use the express lanes during all other times.”

Depending on the volume of vehicles, the toll may increase during peak traffic.

Video ride in the new express lanes in Jacksonville, Florida

Toll roads are not popular in northeast Florida and were removed years ago. At least travelers have a choice with the Express Lanes, while the effort helps with traffic congestion.

Northbound on I-295 toward St. Johns River

Jacksonville is one of the major locations for travelers entering and leaving Florida, especially on the east coast. Travelers will notice construction on major highways in and around Jacksonville, including work for additional Express Lanes. It’s best to check your routes beforehand, and have a map handy, as GPS directions may not be updated as frequently as the highway patterns change.

Southbound from St. Johns River toward I-95

Apps like Florida 511 (FL511) and WAZE provide fairly up-to-date information; but you may still need a map to navigate construction and by-pass routes in case of an emergency on the major highways.

More information about Florida’s Express Lanes is located at http://floridaexpresslanes.com/northeastfl/ .

If you need a SunPass during your visit to Florida, which could give you a discount on certain tolls, you may obtain one at a welcome center as you enter the state. Certain retailers have them too. I suggest checking the SunPass website for more information, including where the SunPass may be used in other states. https://sunpass.com

Safe travels in Florida!

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

6 thoughts on “New Express Lanes – Northeast Florida

  1. If CT adds tolls, I would expect this to come shortly thereafter. Our occupancy-based express lanes are seldom used so it would give the state another chance at making a buck.

    1. I think your right about that Dan. Transportation infrastructure funding has been hurting for years and the gas tax is becoming less due to more fuel efficient vehicles. That’s why I think user fees will be incorporated in the future, nationwide.

    1. I think it is the Dames Point Bridge on I-295 in Jacksonville. Nice angle. I call that bridge the Batman bridge as it reminds me of Batman’s pointed hood. 😀👍

  2. I don’t use toll lanes in California. One freeway has toll road and I don’t travel on that freeway except when my husband and I went to see his family. I don’t know how people pay for the toll. Perhaps I could find out just for the sake of curiosity.

    We’ve been to Tampa and Key West.

    1. Thanks Miriam. They are increasing in Florida to help regulate congestion and help maintain the transportation infrastructure. The Express Lanes seem to be working pretty good in south Florida. It’s good for someone who really needs to get somewhere without sitting in traffic, if they are willing to pay the associated fee. I’m confident we’ll see more of the toll facilities nationwide, called user fees, that will build funding for our failing infrastructure.

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