Saturday, December 16, 2017
Transportation

I-75 widening to go from Hillsborough to Sumter

I have had the opportunity to drive Interstate 75 from Gainesville to Fort Myers recently and was wondering about all the land clearing along the side of the interstate. Mulch piles from ground up 20 feet high in some places. What's going on? Is this the beginning of some sort of widening project or something other? I have tried looking on the DOT website but was unsuccessful figuring anything out. Friends have noticed the same and no one seems to know why.

Lou Sclafani

The state Department of Transportation is indeed preparing for work on I-75. What you and others have noticed is clearing in preparation for a project to add a third travel lane in both the northbound and southbound directions along I-75. The scope of the overall widening project will extend from Hillsborough County into Sumter County, ending at the I-75/turnpike connection in Wildwood, which, when complete, will provide the public with a continuous six-lane roadway from the Georgia state line to the bay area.

DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said construction projects from just north of County Road 54 in Pasco County to south of State Road 50 are getting under way and will take about two to three years to complete. Widening of I-75 south of SR 50 and into Sumter County is set to begin in mid 2015, and this phase of work will include reconstruction of the SR 52 and SR 50 interchanges, along with the I-75 widening.

Do we have a date for when the lane closures and other traffic mess on U.S. 19 around Countryside and north of there will finally be done?

Jim Ford

The DOT's project on U.S. 19 from Countryside Boulevard to East Live Oak Street is scheduled to wrap up in October, so we have one more reason to look forward to the start of fall. The improvements include repaving, sidewalk and curb construction, and a traffic signal upgrade at Nebraska Avenue.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions, or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

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