New St. Johns River Bridge

Expected to be completed in 2029, a new St. Johns River Bridge will be constructed as a part of the third and final segment of the First Coast Expressway. The $595 million new four-lane bridge over the St. Johns River will be built where the Shands Bridge currently stands. Improvements include raising the vertical clearance height of the new bridge to 65 feet from the water line to improve traffic to the port in Putnam County. The project will also include a shared use path connecting Clay and St. Johns Counties.

The LaVilla Link

An ambitious plan to link Jacksonville’s urban core neighborhoods, the Emerald Trail is a public/private partnership between the city of Jacksonville and the nonprofit Groundwork Jacksonville that will connect fourteen urban neighborhoods to Downtown, the St. Johns River, McCoys Creek, and Hogans Creek. It is expected to be completed over the course of a decade and will eventually encompass thirty miles.

Connecting the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, LaVilla and the Rail Yard District, the first phase of the Emerald Trail is well under construction. Anticipated to be completed later this year, the 1.3-mile LaVilla Link will serve as the “Model Mile” of the proposed trail network.

McCoys Creek Restoration and Trail

The McCoys Creek Restoration Project is a $105.4 million City of Jacksonville project intended to remedy McCoys Creek flooding, create neighborhood friendly spaces, improve recreational opportunities, and protect the environment.

Major components of the project include the permanent closure of portions of McCoys Creek Boulevard, reconstruction of the Stockton and King Street bridges, creek restoration and Emerald Trail construction. The restoration of the creek, which was channelized in 1930, involves restoring the waterway to a meandering natural channel design and expanding the floodplain with the addition of natural water containment features, such as lagoons and tidal pools.

The project also includes the conversion of the former road bed of McCoys Creek Boulevard into a linear shared use path that will connect the historic Westside neighborhoods of Lackawanna, Mixon Town, Campbell Hill (Rail Yard District) and Brooklyn to the Northbank Riverwalk.

RiversEdge Southbank Riverwalk Extension

Infrastructure work continues to advance at the RiversEdge development on the site of JEA’s former Southside generation plant. Dallas-based Preston Hollow Capital LLC is currently overseeing $58 million in infrastructure improvements on the 32-acre site, including roadway, water, stormwater, sanitary sewer and electrical connections.

When complete, the development is slated to bring 950 residential units, 147 hotel rooms, 200,000 square feet of office space, 134,000 square feet of retail, a 125-slip marina and more than four acres of public park space to the Downtown Southbank. Infrastructure work includes the construction of a .38-mile Southbank Riverwalk extension through the property, including amenities such as pavers and benches.

Timucuan Trail

A 1.5-mile extension of the Timucuan Trail is currently under construction along Heckscher Drive (State Road A1A/State Road 105) from Little Talbot Island to Big Talbot Island. The $2.9 million FDOT project is a component of a larger trail network known as the East Coast Greenway, which will stretch from Florida to Maine. The 10-foot shared use path is expected to be completed in spring 2023. When complete, the entire Timucuan Trail will stretch 20 miles from Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park to the Amelia Island Trail in Nassau County.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at