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asonj23

St. Johns, Clay fret beltway route

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St. Johns, Clay fret beltway route

Agency gives counties options for funding

By CARLY ROTHMAN, The Times-Union

Charging tolls along a proposed outer beltway through their back yard didn't prompt criticism from elected officials and community leaders in St. Johns and Clay counties Tuesday, after they heard a report from Florida's Turnpike Enterprise.

Their main concern continues to be the question of where to build the beltway in the first place.

Randy Fox, planning manager of Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, shared findings of his organization's study in identical presentations to the St. Johns and Clay County commissions.

Fox said the agency's study found that the beltway could be economically feasible only if half its debt could be repaid within 12 years, with it fully paid off within 22 years. And that can be done using toll revenue.

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In general, I think it's a bad idea. Ring freeways inhibit the full appreciation of property within the loop by making it more desireable/possible to build on cheaper undeveloped land outside the loop.

But regardless, if they are going to build the freeway, I hope they DON'T chose the existing Shands route. It's better to have multiple route choices, rather than just one big wide bridge 20 miles apart from the next one. Plus, expanding Shands is apparently the more expensive option.

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