What I say today will not make any difference in what is about to happen to the State Road 64 and State Road 70 interchanges at Interstate 75. I use these interchanges quite often and have never seen a backup of traffic or a dangerous situation.
I also have in mind the new diamond interchange on University Parkway at I-75. I also travel to this area to visit different restaurants and stores. Before the new construction, and now that it is almost completed, I have not seen any difference in the time to get there and back home — even during construction.
I know that some $80 million-plus was spent at University Parkway and another $50 million is going to be spent at the SR 64 and SR 70 interchanges! What would have been a better expenditure of the millions of dollars is a widening of the bridge over the Manatee River allowing for a better/quicker exit from I-75 onto U.S. 301. Especially when the snowbirds are in town, you can see traffic backed up all the way from U.S. 301 to University Parkway and beyond. Even when the snowbirds have gone north, the traffic can be backed up for several miles.
And no, I don't believe the Ft. Hamer bridge will do a lot to alleviate that situation.
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