I’ve always wondered if the Turnpike should be extended northwest to US 19/98. While I’ve heard rumors that it has been considered in the past, I’ve never seen or heard much to substantiate it other than “possibly maybe long-term”. I also do not have any traffic statistics or projections, but the few times I’ve driven on US 19/98 through the Big Bend I’ve noted the road was a fast 4-lane without much traffic on it. S.R. 44 was recently 4-laned from Crystal River to Wildwood (I-75) as well, which could relieve some pressure on other roads. US 27 Alt from Ocala to US 19/98 in Chiefland is another highway that doesn’t have much to say either.

The real beast is I-75, which is becoming very congested and dangerous. Perhaps the reason why US 19/98 doesn’t have much traffic is because of the way to get there. Both SR 44 and US 27 Alt have towns to pass through (Bronson, Willison, Inverness, etc.), which to most people is a hassle that they want to avoid completely. Would a Turnpike extension to the Lebanon area clear some traffic away from I-75 now or in 20 years? Also consider hurricane evacuations. What about a Turnpike extension to Tallahassee?That’s probably not viable now, but just how wide can I-75 be, and how much of that is long distance traffic?