Traffic

Several I-75 ramps to close next week

MANATEE — Getting on and off Interstate 75 at two southern Manatee County interchanges is about to become a little more complicated.

Various entrance and exit ramps at the University Parkway and State Road 70 interchanges will be closed over several nights next week for construction work, the Florida Department of Transportation said. That means drivers will face posted detours of up to eight miles.

The schedule of closings include:

n Southbound I-75 exit ramp at University Parkway: Closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday and Monday nights.

n Northbound I-75 exit ramp to eastbound State Road 70: Closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Tuesday nights. The exit ramp to westbound S.R. 70 will be open.

n Entrance ramp from eastbound State Road 70 to southbound I-75: Closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The entrance ramp from westbound S.R. 70 will be open.

n Northbound I-75 exit ramp at University Parkway: closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

During the ramp closures, drivers will be detoured to other exits — including State Road 64 and Fruitville Road — up to four miles away to make U-turns.

“We’ll have the highway patrol out there, barricades, signs in advance, the (electronic) message boards, everything,” said Darren Alfonso, a project information officer for the S.R. 70 project.

The University Parkway ramps must be closed so workers can install temporary concrete barrier walls, said Maricelle Venegas, a project information officer for FDOT. Those walls will protect construction workers as they build a second right-turn lane on each ramp, she said.

The work is part of a $1.7 million interchange-improvement project that also includes widening the entrance ramp to southbound I-75, resurfacing the roadway and installing drainage pipes. The project is expected to finish in July.

The S.R. 70 ramp closures are needed for resurfacing, Alfonso said. The work is part of a nearly $4 million project to resurface the road, install guardrails and make other improvements on a 3.65-mile portion of the interstate. Completion is expected in July.

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

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