Less traffic due to COVID-19 leads FDOT to speed up work on I-75/S.R. 70 interchange in Manatee County.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on April 1 authorized the Florida Department of Transportation to accelerate $2.1 billion worth of “critical infrastructure” projects because of the reduced traffic.
Among them is paving along Interstate 75 at the State Road 70 interchange in Manatee County.
“This accelerates the timeline by two weeks, which is good since we are coming into rainy season,” FDOT spokesman Brian Rick said.
The project is part of FDOT’s overall $80.8 million plan to widen 6.75 miles of I-75 from north of University Parkway to south of State Road 64, reconstruct the S.R. 70/I-75 interchange and eliminate a loop on-ramp configuration, and resurface S.R. 70 between Tara Boulevard and 87th Street East.
Rick said the project is on budget and on schedule for its anticipated spring 2021 completion.
He said major tasks remaining include widening the southbound lanes on the interstate, paving work on the interstate and S.R. 70 and performing bridge work over S.R. 70 and the Braden River.
DeSantis’ fund advancement is meant to provide jobs and to take advantage of low traffic counts while Floridians are sheltering at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Expediting the I-75/S.R. 70 project and other projects throughout the state will not only lower costs but will also reduce construction impacts to the community while delivering a safer, more reliable transportation system in a quicker amount of time,” Rick said.