Design changes for I-75 improvements between Bee Ridge and Fruitville roads to be focus of meeting

Open house session planned for 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, in Sarasota

A graphic shows the project boundaries. Image courtesy FDOT
A graphic shows the project boundaries. Image courtesy FDOT

Changes to the design for Interstate 75 improvements from south of Bee Ridge Road to south of Fruitville Road in Sarasota County will be the focus of a May 19 meeting hosted by District One staff of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the department has announced.

The session has been scheduled to allow interested persons the opportunity to comment on the revisions, a news release says. It will start at 5 p.m. at the offices of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, located at 2320 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota.

In December 2011, the Federal Highway Administration approved a preferred alternative from the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study of I-75 from south of State Road 681 to north of University Parkway in Sarasota and Manatee counties, the release explains. “At the I-75/Bee Ridge Road interchange, the preferred alternative maintained the existing partial cloverleaf interchange but added turn lanes on the northbound and southbound I-75 off-ramps,” the release adds.

Because traffic simulations during the design phase indicated that that alternative “would result in excessive delay and queuing,” the release explains, “FDOT developed a modified design proposal that includes reconstructing I-75 at the Bee Ridge Road interchange from the existing diamond configuration to a hybrid diverging diamond interchange (DDI) and a secondary southbound diversion ramp.” FDOT would also rebuild the Bee Ridge Road/Cattlemen Road intersection to a continuous flow intersection (CFI), the release says. “The hybrid DDI, southbound diversion ramp, and CFI work in conjunction to accommodate the traffic at the I-75/Bee Ridge Road interchange and the Bee Ridge Road/Cattlemen Road intersection, which are in very close proximity to each other,” the release adds.

The proposal still includes the widening of I-75 to six lanes from south of Bee Ridge Road to south of Fruitville and the widening of about 1 mile of Bee Ridge Road from west of Maxfield Drive to west of Mauna Loa Boulevard, the release notes.

During the May 19 meeting, FDOT staff also will present an update on project progress to-date, the release adds. Attendees may come to the session at any time between 5 and 7 p.m.; no formal presentation is planned, the release says. Interested parties may find more information on the project website.