Nearly $81 million in improvements are coming to the intersection of Interstate 75 and State Road 70 and the Florida Department of Transportation has scheduled an information meeting to answer concerns and questions from the public.
Construction is anticipated to commence on Oct. 8, 2018.
The meeting is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Manatee Technical College, 6305 State Road 70 E.
FDOT has a master plan to replace I-75 intersections in Manatee and Sarasota counties to help alleviate congestion, which often slows traffic to a crawl.
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The work to widen, improve and streamline I-75 intersections started with the $75 million diverging diamond on University Parkway.
A second diverging diamond is now under construction at State Road 64.
FDOT also has plans to replace the Trooper J. D. Young Memorial Bridge over the Manatee River and reconfigure the U.S. 301-Interstate 75 interchange at a cost of $190 million. Work on the U.S. 301 interchange is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019.
The public meeting Thursday is designed to give the public an opportunity to view maps and graphics depicting the improvements and construction schedule. Project staff will be on hand to answer questions.
The construction will include rebuilding the S.R. 70 interchange from its existing partial cloverleaf design to a modified diamond interchange design with a single loop in the northwest quadrant. Interchange improvements would also include replacement of entrance and exit ramps and add emergency stopping sites on the exit ramps.
Interstate 75 will be widened to eight lanes from north of University Parkway to south of State Road 64. Proposed improvements along S.R. 70 include providing 6.5-foot buffered bike lanes and 5-foot sidewalks with high-emphasis crosswalks.
“It’s a huge win to get them all combined into one in an area that obviously needs it,” Ryan Brown, a transportation planner for the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, recently said of FDOT’s plans for I-75 intersections in Manatee and Sarasota.
“It shows a good commitment by the state,” Brown said.