Improvements on the Way
D.O.T. workers planned the last major overhaul of I-75 almost 20 years ago, and it is time for a new plan. So William Thumbtzen endured more than an hour of traffic along I-75 to get to Northwest Alachua County from his home in Hamilton County to listen and learn how the roadway could be improved for drivers like him. He said he was particularly interested in the possibility of a new interchange near his home.
"The beautiful part of living where I live is there's not very much traffic," Thumbtzen said. "Very few people live there."
The D.O.T. kicked-off their latest study to improve I-75 by asking for suggestions from the people who know it best - those who drive it everyday.
"What we would hope to capture in this study is the identification of more detailed projects that we could begin to do a more fine-tuned analysis of," D.O.T.'s Jordan Green explained.
The analysis covers a 100 mile stretch of I-75 from the Florida/Georgia border to the Marion County line. The last project of this magnitude was in 1988 and resulted in I-75's current six-lane highway configuration. The extent of 2008's plans is not yet known.
"There may be the potential to identify some short-term improvements that we can do, but by-and-large, these are going to be longer-term projects," Green said.
While most of the projects have not been planned yet, Thumbtzen did get some news about that new intersection near his home.
"I learned that it's not very likely because of the proximity to the existing interchange on US 129," he said. "It's too close."
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News.
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