60.3 F
The Villages
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Sumter County endorses plan for bolstering I-75’s ability to handle peak traffic

The state will seek a federal grant to harden the road shoulder of Interstate 75 north of the Florida Turnpike to provide additional capacity during peak traffic periods.

Sumter County Administrator Bradley Arnold endorsed the plan in a letter earlier this month to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

“The proposed project segment faces recurring and non-recurring congestion from high volumes of passenger and truck traffic during peak hours and numerous incidents (throughout) the year,” Arnold wrote. “The proposed project is consistent with our recommendation to maximize the use of existing infrastructure before considering alternative capacity routes.”

The Fastlane grant would provide money for the Freight Mobility Improvement Project to harden the inside shoulder from the Florida Turnpike to County Highway 484, several miles north of the Wildwood exit. The project also involves dynamic message signs, harmonizing speed and modifying the pavement markings and guardrail.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fastlane program will provide $800 million in grants for 18 projects.

Arnold wrote that the additional lane will improve freight movement and reduce travel time while enhancing safety and reliability.

More improvements on I-75 may come as an outgrowth of the state I-75 Relief Task Force, which issued a report earlier this year. The task force studied transportation issues and alternatives between Tampa and Jacksonville.

I-75 issues also were discussed recently at a meeting of the North I-75 Master Plan Project in Ocala.

Officials are looking at future interchanges, new road connectors, U.S. 301 improvements and transportation for Monarch Ranch, a large industrial park planned along the interstate near Coleman.

When an accident occurs on I-75, Marion County officials recommended that traffic should not be diverted to U.S. 301 in Ocala due to heavy congestion, but that SW 60th Avenue between U.S. 27 and State Road 200 should be used instead.

They also suggested that no Ocala roads be widened beyond six lanes and that the downtown should be viewed as a destination rather than a through route.

Someone suggested that Uber taxi rides be incorporated into the transportation plan, but FDOT has no policy on Uber or similar services.

More Headlines
Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

The Villages, Florida

Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

A reset for respecting restaurant workers

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Caroline resident contends the current labor shortage should give us a reason to pause and reflect on how we got here.

Pravda published the party line

A Village of Fenney resident, in a Letter to the Editor, remembers that Pravda provided the party line in the Soviet Union. Why does that somehow seem familiar today?

Apartments and parking at Spanish Springs

A Village of Chatham resident is wondering how parking will be handled when apartments go in at Spanish Springs Town Square. Read his Letter to the Editor.

We can take our revenge at the ballot box

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Sabal Chase resident mourns the loss of the impact fees issue, but says voters can take their revenge at the ballot box.

Shame on The Villages for welcoming hateful voices

A Village of Liberty Park resident, in a Letter to the Editor, says shame on The Villages for welcoming voices that promote white power and hypocrisy.

The Villages, Florida