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Alachua I-75interchange construction to begin in 2014

W_-_I75_improvements-2_copy 

Shown as it is currently configured, the FDOT plans to add a second southbound access ramp (asindicated by the leftmost arrow) to the Interstate-75 in Alachua, which will limit the need for opposing traffic streams on 441 to cross paths before connecting to I-75.

ALACHUA – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) held a public workshop on Thursday, May 31 for the planned improvements to the Interstate 75 interchange at U.S. Highway 441 in Alachua.

At the workshop, held in the City of Alachua commission chambers, residents viewed plans for the improvement to the interchange, made comments and posed questions to the attending FDOT staffers, who also gave a presentation describing the project’s estimated cost and timetable.

The FDOT has committed $11.9 million to the right-of -way, design and construction of the project’s first phase, which will add a second southbound access ramp to the interstate, limiting the need for opposing  traffic streams on 441 to cross paths before connecting to I-75.

Gina Busscher, the public information director for FDOT, said the $11.9 million of state and federal money has been committed based on a FDOT study, which estimated the cost of the project.  Busscher said the actual cost of the project will not be known until the FDOT opens bidding to contractors in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014.

Much of the traffic congestion surrounding the I-75 interchange in Alachua is due to interstate accesses and exits being constrained only to the north side of U.S. Highway 441.  But improvements proposed by FDOT would overcome some of those limitations.

“The department is interested in these improvements because they would reduce traffic congestion and accidents caused by motorists entering and exiting the interstate in that area,” Busscher said in a previous interview.

The “ideal interchange” as determined by the FDOT would add access ramps which enable opposing traffic streams on 441 to remain completely separated before connecting to I-75.  These additions would cost a projected $16.5 million more, bringing the estimated cost of the “ultimate build-out” to $28.4 million.

Busscher said the remaining $16.5 million has not yet been committed by the FDOT, but might be in the future depending on what funds are available to the department.

Bill Henderson, district planning and environmental manager for the FDOT, said after construction begins on the project in 2014, Alachua residents can expect to be able to use the new interchange ramp within 18-24 months.

A part of the proposal also includes the construction of a park and ride facility in the same vicinity as the proposed access ramp.

If opened in 2016, the new ramp would be estimated to serve some 4,800 vehicles per day according to an FDOT analysis.  A 2009 study of the interchange showed that each day, roughly 24,000 vehicles traveled along U.S. 441 in the vicinity of the interchange.  Meanwhile, 55,000 vehicles were logged on I-75 just south of the interchange.

Henderson said the FDOT has looked into adding a new interchange to I-75 at Peggy Road/County Road 2054, and that the project has an estimated cost of $31.1 million.

Busscher said the Peggy Road interchange is a plan reserved for several years in the future.

“That project is not yet funded and isn’t even thought about right now,” Busscher said.

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Alachua I-75interchange construction to begin in 2014

 

By DANIEL ELSESSER

Today Reporter

 

ALACHUA – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) held a public workshop on Thursday, May 31 for the planned improvements to the Interstate 75 interchange at U.S. Highway 441 in Alachua.

At the workshop, held in the City of Alachua commission chambers, residents viewed plans for the improvement to the interchange, made comments and posed questions to the attending FDOT staffers, who also gave a presentation describing the project’s estimated cost and timetable.

The FDOT has committed $11.9 million to the right-of -way, design and construction of the project’s first phase, which will add a second southbound access ramp to the interstate, limiting the need for opposing  traffic streams on 441 to cross paths before connecting to I-75.

Gina Busscher, the public information director for FDOT, said the $11.9 million of state and federal money has been committed based on a FDOT study, which estimated the cost of the project.  Busscher said the actual cost of the project will not be known until the FDOT opens bidding to contractors in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014.

Much of the traffic congestion surrounding the I-75 interchange in Alachua is due to interstate accesses and exits being constrained only to the north side of U.S. Highway 441.  But improvements proposed by FDOT would overcome some of those limitations.

“The department is interested in these improvements because they would reduce traffic congestion and accidents caused by motorists entering and exiting the interstate in that area,” Busscher said in a previous interview.

The “ideal interchange” as determined by the FDOT would add access ramps which enable opposing traffic streams on 441 to remain completely separated before connecting to I-75.  These additions would cost a projected $16.5 million more, bringing the estimated cost of the “ultimate build-out” to $28.4 million.

Busscher said the remaining $16.5 million has not yet been committed by the FDOT, but might be in the future depending on what funds are available to the department.

Bill Henderson, district planning and environmental manager for the FDOT, said after construction begins on the project in 2014, Alachua residents can expect to be able to use the new interchange ramp within 18-24 months.

A part of the proposal also includes the construction of a park and ride facility in the same vicinity as the proposed access ramp.

If opened in 2016, the new ramp would be estimated to serve some 4,800 vehicles per day according to an FDOT analysis.  A 2009 study of the interchange showed that each day, roughly 24,000 vehicles traveled along U.S. 441 in the vicinity of the interchange.  Meanwhile, 55,000 vehicles were logged on I-75 just south of the interchange.

Henderson said the FDOT has looked into adding a new interchange to I-75 at Peggy Road/County Road 2054, and that the project has an estimated cost of $31.1 million.

Busscher said the Peggy Road interchange is a plan reserved for several years in the future.

“That project is not yet funded and isn’t even thought about right now,” Busscher said.

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