The ribbon cutting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on March 28 at the western on-ramp from Matanzas Woods Parkway. The interchange will remain closed until after the ceremony.
PALM COAST, FL – March 15, 2016 – It was less than a year ago that Flagler County was celebrating the beginning of construction for an Interstate 95 Interchange at Matanzas Woods Parkway. Now a ribbon cutting has been scheduled to celebrate its grand opening.
The ribbon cutting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on March 28 at the western on-ramp from Matanzas Woods Parkway. The interchange will remain closed until after the ceremony, so those planning to attend should take the parkway, which will be open.
“This is a very exciting day for our county,” said Flagler County Commission Chair Barbara Revels. “Besides the safety that having another interchange in the county provides, it also opens a lot of avenues for economic development and convenience for our citizens.”
The need for the interchange became apparent in July 1998, when wildfire consumed more than 84,000 acres and destroyed 71 houses. Former Gov. Lawton Chiles ordered a mandatory evacuation for Flagler County – about 35,000 residents.
“I am thrilled,” said County Engineer Faith Alkhatib. “This has been an amazing project. The costs of the overpass and the interchange together are $25.1 million, and the costs to Flagler County have only been 5 percent of that total – about $1.26 million.
The Matanzas Woods Parkway overpass at Interstate 95 was dedicated on Dec. 1, 2006, which provided motorists with better access to U.S. 1 in northeastern Palm Coast. The overpass project cost $12.6 million.
With the dedication of the interchange on March 28, there will be three Interstate 95 access points in Flagler County.
The total interchange project cost is $12.5 million, with construction costs of about $9 million. More than 94 percent of those costs are being covered by the Florida Department of Transportation, as well as federal money.
Construction began in June 2015 after the end of the school year. Improvements include the widening of the interstate to accommodate new acceleration and deceleration lanes, wet detention ponds adjacent to the roadway, sidewalks, lighting, overhead signs and landscaping.
“Completion was originally slated for April 2016,” Alkhatib said. “We are very pleased that this is being completed ahead of schedule and within the budget.”