The purpose of this Interchange Operational Analysis Report (IOAR) is to identify interchange operational improvements for the SR 15 from south of the Wells Road to Collins Road intersection in Duval and Clay Counties, Florida. The project‘s goal is to minimize queuing on the I-295 exit ramps and also deploy operational improvements along SR 15 to improve traffic flow. This IOAR summarizes the traffic operations with the recommended improvements at SR 15 from south of the Wells Road to Collins Road intersection and their added benefit to commuters within the study area.
Within the study area of the SR 15 from south of the Wells Road to Collins Road intersection, the following deficiencies have been identified during Existing Year (2014) conditions and will be addressed as part of this project:
- Excessive queue lengths at ramp terminal intersections with spillback impacting I-295 traffic patterns.
- Extended periods of congestion and delays along the intersections on SR 15.
The deficiencies found in the Existing Year (2014) analysis are anticipated to worsen with increased traffic volumes through Design Year (2040). Without adequately addressing the deficiencies through operational improvements, queue lengths and delays will increase causing excessive congestion.
Traffic forecasting for the purpose of this IOAR were completed utilizing the Northeast Regional Planning Model Version 4.2 (NERPM 4.2) with a Base Year of 2005 and a Horizon Year of 2035. The traffic volume methodology utilized for this study was consistent with the I-295 Western Beltway Feasibility Study (I-295 Mater Plan) and I-295 West Phase I Express SIMR projections. This approach was used to make sure projections are consistent across adjacent Interchange Access Requests (IARs) and ongoing Master Plans within the project vicinity. The growth rates established with NERPM 4.2 model were cross-checked with NERPM Activity Based Model (ABM) and existing FTI count historical growth rates and were found to be consistent with anticipated recent growth patterns.
For the purposes of this study, the analysis years included Existing Year (2014), Opening Year (2020), and Design Year (2040). Traffic operational analyses were completed using VISSIM Version 8.
This IOAR evaluates No-Build Alternative for Opening Year (2020) and Design Year (2040). The Build Alternative is analyzed for Opening Year (2020) and Design Year (2040). The Build Alternative is recommended as it provides improved operations through the Design Year (2040) at the ramp terminal locations, reduces delay times at the study area intersections when compared to the No-Build Alternative, and shortens expected queue lengths that cause potential spillback. The following are the major improvements of the Build Alternative:
- Provide two additional right turn lanes at I-295 northbound off-ramp terminal intersection.
- Provide two additional right turn lanes at I-295 southbound off-ramp terminal intersection.
- Turbo lanes along SR 15 in the northbound and southbound direction.
- Improve Eldridge Avenue and provide triple left turns and a right turn lane near Eldridge Avenue and SR 15 intersection.
Analyses completed on the Build Alternative confirms a substantial improvement over the No-Build Alternative by reducing the overall delay within SR 15 from south of the Wells Road to Collins Road study area.
Purpose and Need
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1.3.1 Purpose The purpose of this project is to improve operational and safety conditions on I-295 near the SR 15 interchange. During peak travel times, traffic queues onto I-295 from SR 15 are creating backups and causing crashes. The proposed addition of auxiliary lanes on SR 15 and modifications to the intersections of SR 15 with the I-295 off-ramps, Eldridge Avenue, Old Orange Park Road, and Wells Road will increase capacity on SR 15, thus allowing more vehicles to exit the mainline of I-295.
This project is anticipated to eliminate substantial queueing along I-295 through the Design Year of 2040. As discussed in the Roadway Capacity section below, the segment of I-295 between Blanding Boulevard (SR 21) and San Jose Boulevard (SR 13) is operating at Level of Service (LOS) D which is an acceptable LOS. However, the segment of SR 15 between Wells Road and I-295 is currently operating at an unacceptable LOS, LOS F and is projected to operate at LOS F through Year 2040. The crash rates for I-295 and SR 15 in the project area are much higher than the statewide averages for similar type facilities.