BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - “It’s awful busy, we try to avoid it when possible,” said Tim Gillen, a Lakewood Ranch resident.
Gillen says he’ll take the back roads just to stay away from State Road 70 at I-75. Numerous crashes have occurred here including one last week when a vehicle ran a red light just east of the overpass, crashing into vehicles turning left and right onto 70. That driver was critically injured.
“Not surprised at all, in fact my wife and did come down here one day and there was a big crash at this intersection,” said Gillen.
Some people feel part of the issue is the major construction happening at the location with work vehicles pulling in and out all the time. Also, drivers say the traffic signals that have been installed are obscured by the I-75 overpass. These roads will be changed to a modified cloverleaf interchange. The Florida Department of Transportation are urging drivers to be cautious, especially around construction zones.
“We take measures to guarantee the safety of everyone, but we certainly will look over a situation to see if it can be improved,” said Brian Rick, spokesperson for FDOT.
Mary and Tom Doepker say they travel this road all the time. They are happy about the project and they say the road isn’t a problem as long you’re extra careful.
“They’ve controlled it really well, it just seems people drive fast, everybody’s in a hurry,” said the Doepkers.
FDOT says this construction project is scheduled to be finished by the fall of 2021.