Here’s what drivers will have to deal with as FDOT upgrades I-75 at State Road 70

Improvements to Interstate 75 in Bradenton won’t come without a few headaches, the Florida Department of Transportation announced.

Upcoming traffic changes and lane shifts will cause issues for some drivers. The changes are required for the reconstruction of the I-75 interchange at State Road 70, the agency said.

The interchange is being upgraded to a new diamond interchange design with a single loop in the northwest quadrant.

The first changes will take place at the northbound I-75 exits 217A and 217B. At 217A, the exit will be closed overnight on Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Drivers will need to exit the interstate at Exit 220 (State Road 64) and re-enter onto I-75 southbound returning to Exit 217 (State Road 70) or use local roads to reach State Road 70.

Another option is to use Exit 213 (University Parkway) and use local roads to reach State Road 70, officials said. The ramp will re-open at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, according to FDOT.

Starting at 11 p.m. on Jan. 9, Exit 217B will be permanently closed. All traffic wishing to exit at State Road 70 must use Exit 217 to travel eastbound and westbound on State Road 70, officials said.

On Friday, Jan. 11, there will be a travel lane shift in the eastbound lanes of State Road 70. The lanes will be shifted to the north side of the road to all for the I-75 bridge’s demolition, according to FDOT. The shift will remain in place until Monday, Jan. 14. The agency advises cautious driving will within the project limits.

Other improvements that come with the $81 million I-75 upgrade include the widening of the interstate from State Road 64 south to University Parkway.

State Road 70 will also be resurfaced from east of Tara Boulevard to west of Eighth Street, adding a 6.5-foot buffered bike lane and 5-foot high-emphasis crosswalks, officials say.