North interchange: 2014?
FDOT says the proposed Interstate 95 interchange is four years away from construction.
Getting off Interstate 95 at Matanzas Woods Parkway will likely be an option for motorists in the future, but the Florida Department of Transportation ranks it second among the county’s projects.
The hot-button item is the proposed I-95 interchange, which the county has been eyeing for the past four years.
Mary Schoevel, spokeswoman for the state, said FDOT is ready to spend $5 million on the design phase, but not until 2014. The county hoped to start that phase much sooner and wanted to pay around $1 million.
County staff and the County Commission hoped that it could use the remaining $4 million on construction projects.
“You’re here today … we do the presentation, and you guys go home,” Commissioner Milissa Holland said.
“And we’re stuck with a crisis situation because of our Matanzas interchange, where that’s a significant safety issue in our community … It becomes very frustrating at times, when the money is being allocated in a process in which we have very few outcomes.”
Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon said in a later interview that the interchange would be another evacuation route.
It will also help distribute traffic away from Palm Coast Parkway, which is the city’s bottleneck, he said.
“You wouldn’t have to go down, come off Palm Coast Parkway and then go back up north to go home,” Landon said. “It’s a convenience for people that live up north, to get on and off the highway.”
Additionally, Landon said the interchange is a part of the city’s economic development efforts for creating another commercial center at Matanzas Woods and U.S. 1.