MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - “I think it’s great timing, I think it’s been definitely closed long enough,” said Don Johnson, a Bradenton resident.
What Johnson is talking about is the sight that drivers on I-275 southbound have seen for the last 16 months. The ramp to I-75 northbound has been shut down since July 2018 while FDOT crews removed and replaced the concrete deck bridge. It will reopen Wednesday at 6am.
“I’m sure it added, if they had to go and turn around and come back to it to go that way,” said Johnson. “It probably added another 20 minutes to their commute time.”
Initially the project was scheduled to be completed in 10 months but FDOT says it took many more months because of additional deterioration issues to parts of the bridge.
“We’re definitely thrilled, we’re definitely excited about this" said Brian Rick, spokesperson for FDOT. "We’re able to deliver this product to the community as well as to the tourists and the other visitors that come in.”
Although the ramp is reopening Wednesday morning, additional work will be done, including applying a protective coating to the steel beams and installing audible pavement markings. All of that work will be finished by the spring.