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Diverging diamond interchange at University Parkway has completely opened

The diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 75 and University Parkway is now fully operational.
The diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 75 and University Parkway is now fully operational.

Florida’s first diverging diamond interchange is fully operational.

On Monday, the Florida Department of Transportation announced the new interchange at Interstate 75/University Parkway is 100 percent operational for the first time.

“The Department is excited to announce that for the first time all 12 lanes of University Parkway are open to traffic,” according to a news release. “The largest interchange of its kind in the U.S. debuted its new crossover traffic pattern on May 21.”

Since August 2015, crews have been working on both University Parkway and I-75 to build the $74.5 million diverging diamond interchange. Prince Contracting LLC, which was FDOT’s contractor, “met conceptual obligations by fully opening the DDI to traffic in July,” according to the release.

“FDOT is proud that we were able to open all 12 lanes of the nation’s largest Diverging Diamond Interchange on time and ahead of the upcoming World Rowing Championships,” FDOT Secretary Mike Dew said in the release. “The new interchange will significantly benefit the residents of Sarasota and Manatee counties, as well as the millions of visitors who come to see this beautiful area of our state.”

While the interchange is fully open, there will still be some work required, according to the release.

“Crews will be working on final construction tasks involving installation of the final layer of asphalt and roadway lane striping only during overnight hours,” according to the release.

During this fall’s World Rowing Championships at nearby Nathan Benderson Park, construction will be suspended from Sept. 16 through Oct. 3.

“A beautification and landscaping project at the interchange will begin in spring 2018,” according to the release.

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson

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