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I-75 open to traffic heading south

ELLENTON — Days after a tanker truck explosion destroyed a portion of Interstate 75 and caused massive traffic delays, officials opened southbound lanes on I-75 late Sunday night.

Earlier in the weekend, two lanes on U.S. 301 had been opened.

Crews worked through the weekend, clearing debris, moving barriers and paving new median crossovers to allow two lanes of traffic to flow in each direction on the northbound I-75 bridge, which remains structurally sound.

"It's kind of like a ballet," Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman Cindy Clemmons-Adente said Sunday night.

While the open lanes should significantly improve traffic flow, she said, drivers on U.S. 301 will not be able to access southbound I-75 and will continue to follow detours.

The reconstruction of the southbound bridge is expected to take six weeks. The DOT tapped Zep Construction Inc. of Fort Myers to do the work at a cost of $1.7-million.

The truck's driver, Raymond Neumann, 54, died Saturday at Tampa General Hospital. The Brooksville man leaves six children.

I-75 open to traffic heading south 06/08/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2008 1:39pm]

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