New road projects coming to Suncoast

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:14 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - As Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his “Framework for Freedom” budget with money going to transportation and infrastructure, the Suncoast is looking forward to more road projects coming soon.

On Jan. 30 Governor DeSantis announced Moving Florida Forward, a bold and historic infrastructure initiative. This proposed investment prioritizes $7 billion towards the state’s transportation infrastructure to directly and immediately address congestion relief and highway safety.

This proposal is slated to invest $7 billion to prioritize 20 critical infrastructure projects in the existing FDOT Five-Year Work Program. The proposed legislation combines $4 billion of General Revenue Surplus with FDOT’s ability to leverage innovative financing tools, contracting, and proposed policies for the resulting $3 billion over four years.

In the Suncoast, two projects are at the center of the announcement.

There is the Interstate 75 at Fruitville Road Interchange which is budgeted to cost $192 Million. This project includes reconstruction of the interchange at Fruitville Road in Sarasota County from the existing partial cloverleaf configuration to a diverging diamond interchange. The project will widen about 2 miles of I-75, from Palmer Boulevard to north of Fruitville Road through reconstruction of the existing 6-lane highway and the addition of auxiliary lanes and will replace the existing bridges over Fruitville Road. The project will also include widening of about 1.6 miles of Fruitville Road from Honore Avenue to east of Coburn Road. The project is looking to begin in 2024.

The second is the S.R. 70 from Bourdside Blvd. to Waterbury Rd. which is budgeted for $53 million with a start date of 2024. This project will widen S.R. 70 from Bourdside Boulevard to Waterbury Road from a two-lane undivided facility to a four-lane divided roadway. S.R. 70 is a principal arterial and a primary eastwest highway for Manatee County and provides regional access to employment centers, agricultural lands, and residential areas across the state. SR 70 is also an east-west evacuation route. The project will include intersection improvements as well as bicycle and pedestrian enhancements.