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  1. Transportation

Southbound I-275 ramp to northbound 75 in Manatee County to close for 10 months

The Florida Department of Transportation has closed the southbound I-275 ramp to northbound I-75 for the next 10 months to replace the entire bridge deck of the overpass. A detour was created that will have drivers exit on the US-41 exit to take that road to College Avenue where drivers can get back to I-75.
The Florida Department of Transportation has closed the southbound I-275 ramp to northbound I-75 for the next 10 months to replace the entire bridge deck of the overpass. A detour was created that will have drivers exit on the US-41 exit to take that road to College Avenue where drivers can get back to I-75.
Published Aug. 1, 2018

People who travel from Pinellas County to southern Hillsborough using the interstates may want to build in some extra time.

The Florida Department of Transportation has shut down the ramp that shuttles motorists from southbound Interstate 275 in Manatee County to northbound I-75. The closure is scheduled to last 10 months as the FDOT replaces the bridge deck, or surface, of the overpass.

Commuters from Pinellas and the Palmetto area in Manatee who use that ramp will instead be directed to a detour at the U.S. 41 exit. From there they can head north and re-enter I-75 at the College Avenue, or State Road 674, entrance, said an FDOT spokesman.

The ramp from I-275 to southbound I-75 will remain open.

Work on the ramp is expected to be finished by the summer of 2019. A temporary traffic signal will be installed on U.S. 41 at the southbound I-275 exit to help aid entry onto U.S. 41.

The FDOT is closing the ramp to replace the entire bridge deck with a new surface that requires less regular maintenance, said Zachary Burch, the communications manager for the FDOT District 1 office.

"The ramp is an old bridge deck style which we do not use anymore," said Burch. "It required a lot more maintenance because it develops a lot of chips and potholes more easily. We've actually made a commitment to replace all of the roads that had this old style and this is the last one in the area."

Burch said that a pothole was reported the weekend before the construction was set to start and the department was forced to fix it after it got worse. The repairs were made just days before the overpass was shut down this week. With the new bridge deck Burch said the FDOT expects maintenance to be much easier and cause fewer hassles for drivers.

Burch said the replacement should save the department time, effort and money for repairs. The newer surface will also be more reliable for drivers, he said.

"It is an extensive amount of work. We are not resurfacing or filling in a hole, it's a complete replacement," Burch said. "This is quite a large ramp as well. Obviously, we are hopeful that we can finish it before the 10 months but we want to prepare the public for the full extended period of time."

The construction cost is estimated at around $8 million. The work will be managed by Cone & Graham Inc., a Florida heavy construction company.

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