Interstate 75 changes on the way

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MANATEE – Interchange improvements are coming to Interstate 75 at State Road 70 in Manatee county, with the goal to widen and improve the roads.

Florida Department Of Transportation District One is hosting a public information meeting at Manatee Technical College, giving people of the community a chance to view maps and diagrams depicting the improvements to come.

“Many of us in our neighborhood go through that intersection, of 75 and 70 all the time, and we really do need to know what it’s going to be like during the construction and then after,” said attendee Suzie Nesbitt.

FDOT will be widening I75 to 8 lanes between University Pkwy and State Road 64, replacing entrance and exit ramps with emergency stopping sites and adding 6.5 foot buffered bike lanes, 5 foot sidewalks with high-emphasis crosswalks and sound barrier walls.

“If you travel the interstate in rush hour in both in the morning and at night, it’s just bumper to bumper, so the states’ effort is trying to keep up the best they can with infrastructure improvements on I75 and at our interchanges,” said FDOT’s Marlena Gore.

And residents are eager for what’s to come:

“The traffic that we live by, we hear tires blowing, we hear air brakes, so all those things are a huge nuisance living close to the interstate, and the sound barrier is going to be a big help for us,” said attendee Kim Strube.

“I was pleased it’s not a true double diamond like the one by University, but it looks like it’s going to move traffic the way they want it, which is good,” said attendee John Nesbitt.

Construction is expected to begin on October 8th, lasting for 3 years, and costs are estimated to be about 80 million.

“Just pay attention, we’re going to have traffic shifts, we’re going to have nighttime lane closures, detours of the entire interchange, and ramp closures so mainly those things will be contained to the nighttime hours, again to minimize the impact to traffic,” said Gore.

“I think that it will be safer and hopefully more smoother for people that travel the interstate,” said Strube.

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