FDOT to hold another public hearing on proposed changes to I-75 between Bee Ridge and Fruitville roads

Session set for Tuesday, July 26

An FDOT graphic shows the proposed changes. Image from FDOT
An FDOT graphic shows the proposed changes. Image from FDOT

On Tuesday, July 26, District One staff of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will conduct another public hearing regarding proposed changes to the design of improvements to Interstate 75 from south of Bee Ridge Road to south of Fruitville Road in Sarasota County, FDOT has announced.

Public comments about the plans for the I-75/Bee Ridge Road interchange will be welcome, a press release says.

In December 2011, the Federal Highway Administration approved a preferred alternative from a 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 notes. That called for FDOT to widen Bee Ridge Road from four to six lanes in each direction and add turn lanes at the Bee Ridge Road/Cattlemen Road intersection, the release says.

“During the design phase, traffic simulations indicated that the preferred alternative would result in excessive delay and queuing,” the release continues. “To address this issue, 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,” the release adds. FDOT would also rebuild the Bee Ridge Road/Cattlemen Road intersection to create a continuous flow intersection (CFI). The hybrid DDI, southbound diversion ramp and CFI would work in conjunction with each other 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 points out. The proposed design plans continue to include widening of about 3.8 miles of I-75 to six lanes from south of Bee Ridge Road to south of Fruitville Road and widening of about 1 mile of Bee Ridge Road from west of Maxfield Drive to west of Mauna Loa Boulevard, the release adds.

The July 26 meeting will begin with an open house at 5 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 6 p.m. It will be conducted at the offices of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, located at 2320 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota.

FDOT representatives will be available at the public hearing beginning at 5 p.m. to answer questions, review proposed design plans and project-related materials on display, and discuss the project informally, the release says. After the formal presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to make public comments, the release notes. A court reporter will be available to receive the comments “in a one-on-one setting,” the release adds.

FDOT also will accept written comments at the hearing. Additionally, they may be mailed to Kevin Ingle, FDOT project manager, at 801 N. Broadway Ave, Bartow, FL 33830, or sent by email at kevin.ingle@dot.state.fl.us.

All comments must be postmarked by Aug 5 to become part of the public hearing record, the release stresses.

Draft project documents will be available for public review until Aug. 5, on the project website, www.swflroads.com/i75/beeridgerdtofruitvillerd. The public also may view them in person at the Fruitville Public Library, located at 100 Coburn Road in Sarasota.