New design at S.R. 64 will improve safety.
The interchange of Interstate 75 and State Road 64 will get a face-lift beginning June 9 when the Florida Department of Transportation begins remodeling the intersection.
FDOT will remove the I-75 offramp, in the northeast quadrant of the intersection, that carries northbound interstate traffic onto westbound S.R. 64. The new configuration will have a longer northbound exit ramp from which traffic turns east or west at a signalized intersection.
The project will widen bridges across State Road 64, replace and widen entrance and exit ramps and widen S.R. 64 from 64th Street Court East to Grand Harbour Parkway, among other improvements.
“I think it’s going to have a great impact on the traffic,” said Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh. “We are in a growth mode. Manatee County is growing leaps and bounds, and I feel like FDOT is doing what it can to help with the congestion on the state roads in Manatee County. I feel like in this particular instance, they aren’t just being reactive. They are being proactive.”
Roadway construction by Prince Contracting LLC will be completed at night to minimize impacts to traffic, although there will be some nighttime detours and lane closures, as experienced with the University Parkway diverging diamond interchange project. The bulk of daytime work will be outside lanes of traffic.
FDOT spokesman Robin Stublen said the new configuration will improve traffic flows at the ramps, will improve vehicular and bicycle safety and will account for future widening of the interstate.
Stublen said Prince Contracting will build a single northbound off ramp, eliminating westbound Exit 220B. Exit 220A, currently only eastbound traffic, will be rebuilt to handle traffic headed eastbound and westbound on S.R. 64.
To construct the changes, Exit 220A will be closed first with 220B being modified to temporarily handle traffic in both directions. Workers will reconstruct 220A to its permanent configuration.
“In the meantime, they’ll construct the new southbound on ramp overpass,” Stublen said. “There’ll be multiple concurrent activities just like with any project. Other than a periodic full overnight interchange closures, just like other projects, there will be minimal impediment to the traveling public.”
Although Prince Contracting continues work on the University Parkway-I-75 project, there should be no scheduling conflicts, Stublen said. The diverging diamond traffic went into effect May 21 and crews moving to the S.R. 64 project are finished at University.
“Therefore, we will have a seamless transition of workforces,” Stublen said.
FDOT also plans to reconfigure the interchange at I-75 and State Road 70, with that project tentatively slated for fall 2018. There will be about one year of overlap with the S.R. 64 project.
“The two contractors will coordinate,” Stublen said. “This scenario has been done in the past with no or minimal issues.”
FUTURE PROJECTS AT A GLANCE:
I-75 at S.R. 70
Scope: Rebuild the S.R. 70 interchange from its existing partial cloverleaf design to a modified diamond interchange design with a single loop in the northwest quadrant. Interchange improvements also will include replacement of entrance and exit ramps and will add emergency stopping sites on the exit ramps. The project also widens the 6.75-mile stretch of I-75 to eight lanes from north of University Parkway to just south of S.R. 70. FDOT also will widen about 1.15 miles of S.R. 70 from east of Tara Boulevard to west of 87th Street to accommodate the interchange improvements.
Funding: $115.94 million for construction in fiscal year 2018
State Road 70 east of Lorraine Road
Scope: FDOT is conducting a Project Development and Environment Study for a 6.1-mile segment of State Road 70 from Lorraine Road to County Road 675 (Waterbury Road). The study evaluates widening the existing two-lane road to a four-lane divided highway to handle future expected traffic.
Funding: The PD&E and design for this project are funded in FDOT’s adopted five-year work program at $5.74 million. A portion of the right-of-way acquisition is funded each in FY 2019 and FY 2020, totaling $3.8 million.
I-75 at U.S. 301
Scope: Widen I-75 to eight lanes and reconstruct the I-75/U.S. 301 interchange from a partial cloverleaf interchange to a tight diamond configuration. New bridges will be constructed over the Manatee River for a northbound exit ramp and a southbound entrance ramp.
Funding: Engineering and acquisition of right of way for the construction improvements are funded at $16.3 million FY 2017. Construction is funded in FY 2020-21 at $189.8 million in FDOT’s five-year work program.