Jacksonville Daily Record: U2C building, maintenance facility gets review board’s conceptual approval

by Max Marbut

October 12, 2023

The Downtown Development Review Board on Oct. 12 approved the conceptual site plan and building design for the operations and maintenance facility for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Ultimate Urban Circulator.

The project, known as U2C, is the automated vehicle system intended to eventually replace the Downtown Skyway monorail system.

The project was originally considered by DDRB at its Aug. 10 meeting, then redesigned based on input from board members and presented again.

The proposed JTA Autonomous Innovation Center at LaVilla would be built on a current surface parking lot.

The site is 1.11 acres and comprises the block between Jefferson, Broad, Bay and Water streets.

The facility is designed with repair bays for the automated vehicles expected to start operation in 2025 along East Bay Street from JTA’s Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center in LaVilla to EverBank Stadium.

The building was repositioned on the site for the second submittal to create a larger space near the adjacent Skyway track that could be used for public access, such food trucks or a market.

Balfour Beatty LLC is the design-build principal on the project. The Balfour Beatty group is a consortium comprising Superior Construction Co. Southeast; Beep Inc.; WGI Inc.; Stantec Consulting Services Inc.; Miller Electric; Urban SDK; and Balfour Beatty.

In January 2022, JTA signed a $49 million contract with the group for the Bay Street phase of the U2C. JTA said it intends to start construction Dec. 1, 2023, but has not provided a completion date.

Eventually, JTA plans to connect the Bay Street element to a 10-mile automated vehicle loop linking Downtown to Riverside, San Marco, Brooklyn and UF Health Jacksonville in Springfield.

Read full article in Jacksonville Daily Record here.