MANATEE COUNTY — Florida Department of Transportation officials say improvements to State Road 64 in the East County are just two months shy of completion, and the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and S.R. 64 likely will open fully before the end of March, weather permitting.
Construction crews with Russell Engineering, the contractor for the $23.7 million project, have finished the most intensive portion of the work — the relocation of utilities and the installation of new drainage systems — and now are working on the final 300-foot section of S.R. 64 just east of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
“That’s huge,” FDOT spokesperson Cindy Clemmons said. “(Utilities) are a major part of this contract. They are getting really close.”
FDOT crews are hoping to open additional lanes on the Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Upper Manatee River Road portions of the intersection with S.R. 64 late this week or next, and additional intersection lanes along S.R. 64 before the end of the month.
“It’s a moving target,” Clemmons said of projected completion dates.
Other ongoing items for completion include the installation of sidewalks, the final dressing of ponds, sign installations, overall project cleanup and the placing of the final layers of asphalt and pavement markings.
The S.R. 64 widening project, which runs from just west of Lena Road to just east of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, began in late 2007. Improvements include a new six-lane roadway construction, drainage improvements and sidewalk construction, among other items.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FDOT’s work in East County is not limited to S.R. 64.
• I-75/S.R. 70 (Exit 217)
Construction crews are reconfiguring the southbound exit ramp from I-75 to S.R. 70 to provide more capacity for storage lanes and increase safety. Improvements include adding one new lane onto the southbound I-75 exit ramp and providing two right turn lanes (one old, one new) onto westbound S.R. 70 at the new signalized intersection. The roughly $887,700 project began mid 2009 and is expected to be completed early this summer.
• I-75/University Parkway
FDOT is adding one right turn lane onto the northbound I-75 exit ramp, adding one new right turn lane on the southbound I-75 exit ramp and widening the southbound on-ramp. The $1.7 million project is expected to be completed this summer.
• I-75/Fruitville Road
FDOT is adding one new left turn lane at the northbound I-75 exit, one new right turn lane on the southbound I-75 exit ramp and one left turn lane on the southbound I-75 exit ramp. The $1.6 million project is expected to be completed this summer.
• I-75 Median Cable Barrier
FDOT is installing 18.4 miles of median cable barrier from just north of University Parkway to south of Curiosity Creek in North Manatee.