Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 12, 2021
Commuters to and from Amelia Island have almost become used to road construction slowdowns. Fairly common along SR 200 A1A the construction work takes its toll on both commuting time and drivers’ anger management skills. Many drivers avoided the problem by taking the more scenic southern route along Hecksher Drive. That peaceful route now includes a long stop at Myrtle Creek, where two-lane traffic becomes one-lane to allow FDOT to widen a bridge and add to the existing bike path.
But take heart. At lease part of the problem should be solved in a few weeks. According to FDOT spokesman Hampton Ray, “The State Road 200 improvements are expected to be completed and in their final configuration within the next couple of weeks, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting. Both [the road and the interchange] projects along the corridor are nearing their conclusion with remaining work including asphalt and safety inspections. The additional lanes will not open until all safety requirements are satisfied.
“We appreciate the public’s patience during this project. With the growth in the region the additional lanes will help with increased traffic volumes. FDOT maintained two lanes throughout construction along the corridor; remaining opened for motorists during the improvements. “
That’s the good news. Regarding the southern commuting route, Ray wrote, “Heckscher Drive is currently under construction at the Myrtle and Simpson Creek bridges. The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2023, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting. The construction work requires a temporary traffic signal to be in place to allow crews to construct a new bridge and connect bicycle paths. The temporary traffic signal is expected to be in place until the conclusion of the project.”
So there you have it. You can still enjoy the scenic southern route along Hecksher, but probably more so if you practice deep breathing exercises.