Florida State Road 9B provides a cut-off between I-95 in northern St. Johns County and the Interstate 295 East Beltway at Southside Jacksonville. Opening up additional land for development, including Durbin Pavilion and the Batram Park Preserve subdivision, the commuter freeway also spurs south from I-95 to St. Johns Parkway.
Discussion in 2012 included the possibility of resigning SR 9B as Interstate 795 upon completion of the link with I-95.1 That will not be the case until FDOT District Two submits a formal application to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for Interstate status along the entire SR 9B freeway.2
Construction of the I-295 Express Lanes from I-95 to SR 202 (J. Turner Butler / JTB Boulevard) modifies the northern exchange connecting SR 9B with the East Beltway. Work adds a new overpass and ramp from SR 9B to the northbound express lanes and rebuilds the SR 9B southbound ramp from I-295 to accommodate a third lane for the express lanes. The $139.9 million I-295 Express Lanes project started in Summer 2016 and runs through
Summer 2019 Fall 2020.
25.1 miles of SR 9A east of I-95 in Jacksonville and 4.6 miles of SR 9B from I-95 near Bayard north to SR 9A were approved as future Interstate additions by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on August 13, 1986. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) followed up with FHWA to reaffirm the approval for both the extension of I-295 along SR 9A and the establishment of an Interstate along SR 9B on September 19, 2008. Submitted on March 27, 2009, the application sent to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for the establishment of I-295 references the route as intersecting I-795/SR 9B (Future).
A letter dated October 12, 2010 again granted approval for the addition of State Road 9A to the Interstate System per the 1986 agreement between FHWA and FDOT. However SR 9B has yet to be added to the Interstate system, as it was not constructed by the 1986 agreement deadline of August 2011.
Construction was completed on the first phase of State Road 9B, between U.S. 1 (Philips Highway) and I-295, on September 20, 2013. Work on the initial $75 million segment started in Summer 2010. Work commenced on Phase 2 in April 2013. Including the directional cloverleaf interchange with I-95, the $95 million project concluded on June 2016, with the southbound lanes opening to traffic on June 12 and the northbound lanes two days later.
Extending SR 9B southward to County Road 2209 (St. Johns Parkway), Phase 3 started on September 8, 2015. The $79.76 million project included construction of a single point urban interchange (SPUI) with Peyton Parkway, a new one mile connector linking SR 9B with Race Track Road. The 2.3 mile segment of SR 9B was fully opened to traffic in August 2018.