BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The long wait will soon be over for motorists traveling on I-75 southbound in Manatee County. A new bridge will officially open Thursday night. Traffic will be diverted to the new path over the bridge which is over State Road 70. FDOT officials say this new bridge will make the interstate much safer.
“What we’re doing is we’re eliminating the sight distance issue that would occur," said Brian Rick, Spokesperson for FDOT. "Another safety benefit which also yields additional benefits of reduced congestion.”
This is part of an 80.7 million dollar construction project that started back in January of 2019. The overall project will improve a nearly seven mile stretch of I-75, widening it to eight lanes.
“I’m for expansion and I’m glad they’re working on the roads, we’re going to live in a beautiful place and it’s going to grow," said Diane and Greg Brune of Manatee County. "Fix it now or it’s a bigger job to fix it later.”
It’s not yet known exactly what time Thursday night the new bridge will open. FDOT officials are urging motorists to be extra aware around all the construction.
“Motorists should expect to see some activity, possibly beginning as early as 8:45pm and concluding by 6am," said Rick. "Drivers should definitely be careful when going through that area, always be mindful of that.”
The overall I-75 project is expected to be finished by the middle of next year.