On Thursday, July 23, District One held a preconstruction open house for the I-75/University Parkway Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). This project is the first DDI in Florida. Over 250 people and numerous media outlets attended the two-hour event. Attendees were able to watch a video presentation, view designs, and have their questions answered by FDOT staff, consultants, and the contractor.
In addition to the DDI, the project includes:
- Adding an auxiliary lane to the existing three lanes each way for regular northbound and southbound traffic on I-75. The new auxiliary lanes will only be between Fruitville Road and University Parkway and are intended for traffic only intending to go from one exit to the next.
- Construction of new overpasses at University Parkway.
- Widening University Parkway from Cattlemen Road/Cooper Creek Boulevard west of the interchange to Market Street/Lake Osprey Drive in Lakewood Ranch.
- Widening the I-75 bridges over Errie Creek and Foley Creek.
- Realignment of the on- and off-ramps at the interchange.
- Construction of a noise-buffering wall on the west side of I-75 between Fruitville Road and Nathan Benderson Park.
- Pond and drainage improvements.
- New sidewalks, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.
- New lighting and traffic signals.
The $74.5 million project begins August 3, 2015 with completion mid-September 2017, just in time for the World Rowing Championships held at Benderson Park in Sarasota. The contractor for this project is Prince Construction.