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Interstate 75 North - Sumter County

Interstate 75 north
A rest area welcomes motorists into Sumter County along this stretch of Interstate 75 west of Croom-A-Coochee. The rural freeway travels 29.00 miles through the county en route to Ocala and Gainesville. Photo taken 11/25/12.
I-75 north leaves Withlacoochee State Forest and approaches Sumter County 476B (Exit 309) in 0.5 miles. Though this guide sign implies Interstate 75 will meet Sumter County 476 in 0.25 miles, signage along the ramps indicate otherwise (as Exit 309 is the terminus of both CR 476B and 673) and placement of this sign puts it at one-half mile before the exit. CR 476 actually crosses the freeway 0.9 miles south of Florida 48 (Exit 314). Photo taken 11/25/12.
A loop ramp will take motorists from Interstate 75 to Sumter County 476B and 673. The community of Webster is located 9.5 miles to the east along Sumter County 478 and houses one of the largest flea markets in the state. Florida National Cemetery is also reached via Exit 309 and is situated one mile west of the interchange along CR 476B. A placard on the overpass also indicates the county road as being CR 476B and not CR 476. Photo taken 11/25/12.
Signage assemblies along the loop ramp to Exit 309 verify the existence of Sumter County 476B and 673. Sumter County 673 north runs 4.16 miles eastward to U.S. 301 and the community of St. Catherine. Sumter County 478 connects with the U.S. highway 0.5 miles to the north of CR 673 and provides access to the Webster Westside Flea Market and Webster. Sumter County 476B turns north from I-75 to reach Sumter County 476 in 3.21 miles. Photos taken 09/02/13.
Interstate 75 continues northeastward toward Bushnell and Ocala, meeting Florida 48 (Exit 314) in 5.4 miles. Ocala is now slightly over 46 miles ahead.
$70-million widening of I-75 from the Hernando County line to CR 470 kicks off 2014.1 Photo taken 11/25/12.
One mile guide sign for the diamond interchange with Florida 48 (Exit 314). The 2.17 mile state road links I-75 with the Bushnell city center while county maintained portions connect with Floral City to the west and Center Hill, Okahumpka, Leesburg and Howey-In-The-Hills to the east. Photo taken 05/28/05. Second photo taken 12/26/11.
Aforementioned County Road 476 spans Interstate 75 three quarters of a mile south of Exit 314 to SR 48. The county road lines Seminole Avenue through south Bushnell, just north of Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. CR 603 (Battlefield Drive) connects both SR 48 and CR 476 with the park. Photo taken 11/26/07.

Motorists depart for Exit 314 and Florida 48 at the city of Bushnell. U.S. 301 (South Main Street / Noble Avenue) bisects the Bushnell business district 2.1 miles to the east. Photo taken 11/25/12.
Recent commercial growth has surrounded Exit 314 in the form of fast food franchises, big box retail and gas stations. County Road 48 leads west from the junction to end in 12.2 miles at U.S. 41 in Floral City. Photo taken 12/26/11.
Interstate 75 extends north through outer reaches of the Bushnell city limits to next meet Sumter County 470 (Exit 321) at East Panasoffkee. CR 470 ventures east from Exit 321, 2.6 miles to U.S. 301 and the community of Sumterville. Photo taken 01/29/06.
County Road 470 turns north from Exit 321 along the west side of Lake Panasoffkee through the community by the same name. The route ends at Florida 44, east of Rutland. Photo taken 01/29/06.
Northbound I-75 motorists reach the departure ramp (Exit 321) for Sumter County 470. Movement to CR 470 involves a brief drive along adjacent CR 475, which leads north from Bushnell to kiss the east side of I-75 at Exit 321 and CR 470.
A second segment of County Road 470 exists to the east of U.S. 301 to connect Sumterville with south Wildwood and Leesburg. Photo taken 01/29/06. Second photo taken 12/07/07.
Interstate 75 traverses an area of wetlands surrounding the southeastern fringes of Lake Panasoffkee just north of Exit 321. A span crosses Panasoffkee Creek, which flows west from Shady Brook and Warm Springs Hammock to the lake. Designated the Florida Veterans Memorial bridge, the structure was upgraded in the 1990's from twin substandard narrow bridges to a modern bridge with full shoulders and provisions for additional travel lanes. Photo taken 12/07/07.
A mileage sign at the north end of the Florida Veterans Memorial bridge indicates the next exit (Florida 44) occurring in seven miles with Ocala now being 34 miles further.
$112-million widening of I-75 from CR 470 north to Florida's Turnpike starts in 2015.1 Photo taken 12/07/07.
A CSX Railroad line parallels I-75 just to the east by Lake Panasoffkee. The freeway diverges from the railroad for a northward heading. Pictured here is the Warm Springs Avenue overpass, which carries a local road west from the city of Coleman to a boat ramp on the lake. Photo taken 05/28/05.
Approaching the merge with Florida's Turnpike along Interstate 75 to the west of Wildwood. The first guide sign for Exit 329 (SR 44) precedes the wye interchange with the turnpike. Presently Florida 44 provides the only access point to The Villages, a growing retirement community of over 100,000. The unincorporated metropolitan area spreads across portions of three counties and into the city of Wildwood. Photo taken 05/28/05.
One mile south of the diamond interchange (Exit 329) with Florida 44 (Gulf Atlantic Highway). SR 44 stretches across the state 115.2 miles from Crystal River on the Nature Coast to New Smyrna Beach and the Space Coast. Plans exist to move the departure ramp for Exit 329 southward ahead of the upcoming Turnpike merge. Construction on the $57-million project commences in 2015 to relocate the off-ramp onto a new overpass above the turnpike. Additional work switches the turnpike split with I-75 south from a left-hand ramp into a right-hand ramp.1 Photo taken 01/29/06.
Interstate 75 north merges with the turnpike north end to expand to eight overall lanes. Florida's Turnpike branches southeast from Interstate 75 to serve Central and South Florida through to an end at U.S. 1 in Homestead. Photo taken 05/28/05.
Exit 329 quickly follows the turnpike merge of Interstate 75 north for Florida 44. Inverness is a 15.1-mile drive west along SR 44 to U.S. 41 in nearby Citrus County while Wildwood lies three miles to the east. Previous signage omitted Inverness as a control point for Florida 44. Photo taken 01/29/06. Second photo taken 03/02/13.
Two lanes leave for Exit 329 and Florida 44 as three lanes continue along Interstate 75 north. Interstate 75 maintains six overall lanes to the split with Interstate 475 south of Macon, Georgia.
Sign replacements by 2010 saw the removal of the pull-through sign for Interstate 75 and the addition of Inverness for SR 44. Travelers and truckers often use this interchange as a pit stop with a bevy of truck plazas and food establishments nearby. Photo taken 01/29/06. Second photo taken 03/02/13.
Ranchland abuts Interstate 75 over the next several miles as the freeway kinks westward ahead of Royal and the CR 462 overpass. Photo taken 03/02/13.
Interstate 75 enters Marion County in 5.1 miles and meets County Road 484 in 10 miles. Ocala is approximately a half hour away. Photo taken 03/02/13.
Gainesville remains 62 miles further north, followed by Lake City, referenced for the first time to northbound travelers, at 98 miles out. Photo taken 03/02/13.
Travelers along I-75 north enter Marion County between mile markers 335 and 336. The county was formed in 1844 and consists of five incorporated cities (Ocala, Belleview, Dunnellon, Mcintosh, and Reddick). Photo taken 03/02/13.



Sources:

  1. "I-75 widening and interchange improvements planned." Daily Commercial, December 31, 2013.
Photo Credits:
2005-05-28, 2006-01-29, 2007-11-26, 2007-12-07, 2011-12-26, 2012-11-25, 2013-03-02, 2013-09-02 by AARoads

Page Updated 03-30-2014.

 
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