City of Jacksonville


Work Begins on Laura Street Enhancement Project

February 16, 2010

Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and City Council member Don Redman today joined the project's contractor Southern Development Corporation and members of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC), Public Works Department and downtown partners to officially break ground on the Laura Street enhancement project.

This project is essential to the continual revitalization and walkability of downtown by improving the character of downtown's most pedestrian-used corridor and making Laura Street an enhanced entryway into downtown. Many unique elements will be implemented to make over Laura Street and create a more pedestrian-friendly experience.

One enhancement includes moving the Andrew Jackson statue to a newly-created roundabout in front of The Jacksonville Landing to encourage more pedestrian traffic around this central downtown asset. Prominent street markers will be installed on the road corners for better navigation, directional kiosks will be placed strategically along the street and historical plaques and cobblestone pavers will be used to make Laura Street more iconic. In addition, both Laura Street and Independent Drive will be modified from their current one-way to two-way traffic patterns.

'I want to thank all of our downtown partners and supporters for working with the city as we embark on this significant project to implement elements outlined in the Downtown Action Plan which will improve the downtown environment,' said Mayor John Peyton. 'We believe this public realm initiative will pay for itself in economic growth in downtown Jacksonville by attracting more capital investment and encouraging workers, residents and visitors to locate in this great area.'

'I am pleased that the city is taking the lead with this initiative and downtown effort to enhance the street-level environment of Laura Street and encourage more walkability throughout the urban core,' said City Council member Don Redman. 'By enhancing existing infrastructure, we will create a more pleasing and inviting environment that will create long-lasting beneficial effects in downtown.'

Work will begin the week of Feb. 10 with the construction on the round-about. Most of the construction will take place between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. and will be completed one block at a time to minimize disruption. Other construction information is as follows:

Overall Laura Street corridor construction:

- Throughout construction, motorists will encounter periodic full-lane closures or partial- lane closures.
- Access to all cross streets will be maintained.
- Throughout construction, north and southbound pedestrian access to The Jacksonville Landing and other businesses along Laura Street will be maintained at all times. However, pedestrian traffic may be diverted to either the east or west side of the street depending on the area being constructed at the time.
- Local access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction.
- Directional signage will be posted.

Round-about construction area:
- Laura Street will be closed to thru-traffic between Bay Street to the north and Independent Drive to the south beginning Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 a.m.
- This closure will remain in effect during the time in which the round-about and all work on Laura Street south of Bay Street is being conducted.
- Access to the Modis building parking garage and other business driveways will be maintained throughout construction.
- Directional signage will be posted.

- There are no detour routes as planned. However, motorists may utilize Hogan Street and Main Street as alternate north-south routes if they wish to avoid the construction area.