EAST MANATEE -- Several East Manatee roads and intersections will see more than $18.5 million in state-funded improvements over the next few years, according to a draft five-year work plan approved Tuesday by the Manatee County Commission.
Projects include the addition of turn lanes along Interstate 75 at the State Road 70 and University Parkway interchanges, road resurfacing and intersection improvements, according to the Florida Department of Transportation's plan.
The work plan still must win approval of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization.
For 2014-15, FDOT has allocated funds for the following projects:
$960,000 to add lanes at the I-75 and University Parkway interchange
$100,000 for improvements at the I-75/State Road 64 interchange
$960,000 to add lanes at the I-75/State Road 70 interchange
$433,763 for intersection improvement at SR 64 and 66th Street Court East
$666,421 for intersection
improvement on SR 70 from Sixth Street East to Ninth Street East
$286,016 for intersection improvement at U.S. 301 and 25th Drive East.
MPO officials said they are particularly excited about the addition of lanes at I-75 and University Parkway, an area where already high traffic is expected to increase with the construction of the new Nathan Benderson Park rowing facility and Mall at University Town Center.
"We understand that one of highest priorities for both counties is that University and I-75 interchange," said Michael Howe, MPO executive director.
FDOT will try to alleviate traffic congestion during construction of these projects, said David Hutchinson, MPO planning manager.
"They have to maintain traffic patterns and then try to minimize interruptions of traffic," he said.
FDOT has also set aside $430,000 to add lanes at the interchange of I-75 and U.S. 301, a project slated for 2016-17. Nearly $12 million has also been set aside for resurfacing on stretches of SR 70.
Also lined up for 2016-17 is the addition of a left-turn lane at at Ellenton Gillette Road and 69th Street East and an intersection improvement at U.S. 301 and SR 70.
All projects are in the early stages, and no completion dates have been determined, said Robin Stublen, FDOT spokesperson.
Sabrina Rocco, Herald staff reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @sabrinarocco.