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First Coast Expressway

Project Details



Duval County, FL

Clay County, FL

St. Johns, FL

Client / Owner

Florida Department of Transportation District 2

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise


43,500 square yards

The First Coast Expressway (FCE) is a corridor of new economic opportunity, regional connectivity, and efficient emergency evacuation in Northeast Florida.  The new alignment, multi-lane, high-speed, limited-access, tolled expressway connects Duval, Clay, and St. Johns counties from I-10 in the north to I-95 in the south over a total distance of 46 miles. The project will add major transportation capacity to the region, helping to alleviate current and future traffic congestion on the area’s most strained roadway networks.  This connectivity will improve local access to important employment centers to promote and support economic development across the region.  The corridor will serve as a major hurricane evacuation route for coastal areas, improving public safety for millions of Florida residents.

RS&H is serving as Owner’s Representative and Engineer of Record (EOR) for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 2 on this project, providing a wide range of services including program management, planning, preliminary engineering, final engineering design, traffic, environmental, surveying, mapping, geotechnical, public involvement, and construction cost estimating.  Construction along the corridor is progressing in 3 major phases:

Phase 1: Duval County
The first major phase of the corridor was completed in 2019, connecting US 90 (Beaver St) with I-10 in Duval County and SR 21 (Blanding Blvd) in Clay County.  This segment featured the conversion of Branan-Field Chaffee Rd, an existing, 2-lane local facility to a 4-lane, high-speed, tolled expressway, connecting Cecil Commerce Center and other major commercial developments.  This segment included over 20 miles of roadway construction with 18 bridges, 41 stormwater ponds, 8 interchanges, and 6 toll gantries, with a total construction cost of $208M.

Phase 2: Clay County
The next major phase is under construction today in Clay County and will connect SR 21 (Blanding Blvd) in Middleburg to SR 16 (Leonard C. Taylor Pkwy) in Green Cove Springs, a distance of 21 miles of new alignment roadway construction.  This phase features a new major bridge crossing over Black Creek and will connect new developments in central Clay County with regional employment centers.   The segment included over 41 bridge crossings, 3 new diverging diamond interchanges, and over 19 million cubic yards of earthwork.  The total construction cost is $409M and is anticipated to be completed in 2025.

Phase 3: St. Johns County
The third phase of the corridor will replace the existing Shands Bridge with a new 2-mile, high-level bridge crossing over the St. Johns River to improve regional marine commerce between the Atlantic Ocean and Palatka, FL.  RS&H is serving as Owner’s Representative providing Design-Build procurement services for this major project, which is anticipated to cost $595M  (construction).  The final roadway segment will connect the St. Johns River crossing with I-95 in St. Johns County, a total distance of 5 miles, and will connect upcoming residential developments and complete the regional hurricane evacuation route from I-95 to I-10.  This last segment is anticipated to cost over $516M and is anticipated to be completed by 2030.

With an anticipated total construction cost over $1.2 billion, the First Coast Expressway corridor will be considered one of the largest public infrastructure projects in Northeast Florida ever.  With improved regional connectivity, this corridor will provide Floridians with improved access to major employment centers, educational institutions, and public recreational facilities.  Our team has incorporated modern safety features with well-planned and designed interchanges intended to reduce accidents and provide for more efficient traffic flow.  The facility and its supporting off-system roadways will accommodate various modes of transportation, including cars, buses, commercial trucks, pedestrians, and bicyclists, ensuring that the corridor is convenient, reliable, and resilient for its millions of anticipated users.

RS&H is proud to have served FDOT District 2 in providing an exceptional journey from start to future for such a historical and impactful project.

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