SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - I-75 in Sarasota and Manatee counties is becoming more like a parking lot than a highway, especially during rush hours. There seems to be more drivers than the six lane highway can handle.
Every year the Florida Department of Transportation says it's getting worse and worse. FDOT reporting that every year there's a higher traffic volume than the year before.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, I-75 is so congested during morning and evening rush hours because there are so many drivers trying to enter and exit the interstate at the same time and at the same locations.
That is when FHP sees the most accidents.
"The interstate can definitely handle the amount of drivers that are out there," Trooper Kenn Watson says. "You have to remember we have a lot of construction going on."
That's what we're seeing at the State Road 64 exit.
There's more construction coming soon on I-75 in hopes of alleviating this congestion.
A $192 million construction project is in the works to rebuild the U.S. 301 and I-75 interchange and add auxiliary lanes. That project will start in 2020.
Then a similar $115 million project is slated for State Road 70. That will go to construction later this year.
FDOT is also starting a study to see what else I-75 could use to ease traffic and congestion. That study will begin this spring.
FDOT says right now they're working on purchasing some of the land around the current Fruitville Road and Bee Ridge Road exit to hopefully in the future, expand those areas of the highway.