One of the First Double Median U-Turn Intersections (MUTs) in Florida
SR 212 (Beach Boulevard) Interchange Improvements
Video courtesy of the Flordia Department of Transportation (FDOT).
An MUT replaces direct left turns at an intersection with indirect left turns using a U-turn movement in a wide median. The MUT intersection eliminates left turns on both intersecting streets and thus reduces the number of traffic signal phases and conflict points at the main crossing intersection, resulting in improved intersection operations and safety. To accommodate the MUTs, a stop-controlled median directional crossover will be constructed at Beach and Newell Boulevard, with a signal-controlled directional median crossover being placed at West Eve Drive.
Based on the limited right of way, maintaining vehicle tracking provided a challenge. FDOT’s main design vehicle is a semi-truck (WB-62FL), so the horizontal alignment had to include all the vehicle turning movements. This led to some redesign of the original concept to allow additional space for the semi-truck over tracking. The widening of the roadway to accommodate the MUT turns required that an existing wet pond be reduced in size. A solution was developed that allowed increased flow to a new dry pond, allowing the wet pond to be reduced without the need for costly sheet pile walls. An agreement with the City of Jacksonville called for the replacement of the existing 5-ft. bike lanes with a 10-ft. wide multi-use path. Limited right-of-way and challenging elevations required that the path vary in width at points along the corridor. Because of the high peak traffic demand, an extensive traffic control plan had to be developed to maintain traffic flow during construction.
This project required extensive public participation with a Public Hearing, Open House, and several meetings with the stakeholders including the City of Jacksonville, City Council, Bike and pedestrian groups, homeowner’s associations, and local businesses. The CMT team leading this effort was awarded the contract based on their vast experience in designing intersections in urban areas that improve safety and ease congestion.