We’ve been hearing about it for years. Ingress and Egress must follow alongside growth and development. The county has been trying to get this interchange since the 1998 wildfires, which brought the county and Palm Coast face to face with a road infrastructure that wasn’t keeping up with development: when evacuation orders went out that long-ago summer, just two exits had to funnel the jam onto the highway. The county had since been alternately asking, pleading, begging and courting state and federal officials for money to enable the third interchange at Matanzas Woods.
But today around 1 p.m., under a makeshift tent roadside just before the existing bridge over I-95 on Matanzas Woods, commission members and a few guests went through the ceremonial groundbreaking with 10 shovels, a few feet from where the men and women of England-Thims and Miller had already leveled much of the wooded area that will soon be replaced by access ramps.It’s a taxpayer-funded projects, as all roads are, but with state and federal dollars: the Florida Department of Transportation is footing most of the $9 million bill. The biggest impact on area residents, aside from easing access to the interstate once the project is completed in the summer of 2016, will be the two-month closure of the Matanzas Woods Parkway overpass, starting June 5, so the road bed can be elevated five feet and be in line for its interstate ramp limbs. Residents will also catch sight of two simultaneous projects in the area: the $5.7 million extension and four-laning of Old Kings Road from Forest Grove Drive to Matanzas Woods Parkway, which will relieve an expected surge of traffic from passing in front of Matanzas High School. And the two-lane extension of Palm Harbor Parkway to Matanzas Woods Parkway, a Palm Coast project. This IS progress and will make all of our lives easier as time goes on.