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Road closure set for SundayUniversity Parkway to be completely closed Sunday night

LAKEWOOD RANCH — A balky crane means drivers can again expect a major road closure at University Parkway and Interstate 75 on Sunday night.

University Parkway will be completely closed from just west of I-75 to Cooper Creek Boulevard from 8 p.m. Sunday to as late as 5 a.m. Monday to install overhead sign trusses, the Florida Department of Transportation said Friday.

That means University Parkway drivers won’t be able to access the interstate from the west, but will be able to from the east, during the closure. The southbound I-75 exit ramp at University Parkway also will be closed, while northbound traffic will be able to exit but only to go east on University Parkway.

The closure originally was scheduled for last Sunday night and Monday morning, but a crane’s mechanical problems postponed the work by a week, FDOT spokeswoman Cindy Clemmons-Adente said.

FDOT chose Sunday for the closure because it’s a low traffic period and should lessen delays, she said.

“You tend to have less commercial deliveries and you don’t have as much local traffic during that time,” Clemmons-Adente said. “We recognize it as one of the busiest interchanges in the area.”

An estimated 61,500 vehicles either exited or got onto I-75 at University Parkway on an average day in 2007, the latest year for which FDOT data was available. Details on the number of vehicles passing through the interchange was not available.

FDOT is recommending a detour that puts drivers on three major roads: University Parkway, Fruitville Road and U.S. 301. There also are alternate routes that drivers could take, but FDOT is not recommending them because they’re on local roads, Clemmons-Adente said.

“If you’re diverting traffic off the interstate, you don’t want that traffic going through local neighborhoods,” she said.

Duane Marsteller, transportation/growth and development reporter, can be reached at 745-7080, ext. 2630.

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