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A good solution to relieve I-75 in FL between Wildwood and SR-326?

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Alex:

--- Quote from: btl1016 on October 10, 2021, 12:31:08 PM ---For years there have been multiple discussions in the state on what to do to relieve the ever growing congested I-75 corridor between Wildwood and SR-326. FDOTs main solution is to just extend the Suncoast Parkway all the way to I-10 but in my opinion this wonít do much to solve the growing congestion issues at all.
--- End quote ---

Was a solution at least, but the bulk of that extension is off the table now.


--- Quote from: btl1016 on October 10, 2021, 12:31:08 PM ---From what Iíve noticed, traffic drastically improves once you pass 326 north of Ocala as a good portion of traffic gets off at 326 to cross over to US-301 to head towards Jacksonville (which the Suncoast Parkway wonít do anything to relieve). It seems like it would make more sense for the state to do these 2 two things. First widen I-75 from 6 to 8 lanes between the Turnpike and SR-326 and ďurbanizeĒ the Ocala interchanges with auxiliary merging lanes. This will allow room for another passing lane for cars to combat the ever growing semi traffic and help the merging bottleneck in the Ocala area. Second they should build the long needed bypass around Ocala to relief traffic off I-75 in Ocala and provide a solution for Jacksonville bound traffic to exit the interstate sooner. A Ocala bypass was actually initially planned in the original 1960s I-75 master-plan but it was never built and in my opinion, would do much more to combat the traffic issues than the useless Suncoast Parkway expansion. Thoughts?

--- End quote ---

Well instead we'll be getting another interchange sandwiched in between U.S. 27 and SR 326 to accommodate yet more distribution and logistic centers. A DDI is scheduled for construction with NW 49th Street in 2024.

I think a bypass of Ocala for regional traffic is a great idea that will never happen. Furthermore a limited access connector between I-75 and U.S. 301 north of SR 326 is needed, but also not something considered.


--- Quote from: formulanone on October 10, 2021, 12:40:50 PM ---Traffic counts and population has steadily risen over the last 25 years since I-75 was widened to three lanes from Wildwood to I-10, but without too much increase in lane count. The trip from South Florida to Gainesville (or points north) wasn't too bad, except on days around and during holiday weekends. Now, it seems like that's every day...

--- End quote ---

Rode through Ocala along I-75 at midnight on Friday, and traffic was still thick. I have avoided Ocala numerous times in recent years because of the traffic congestion. At the end of last year there was an incident that resulted in the closure of I-75 northbound and subsequent gawker delays southbound. We shifted onto parallel CR 475 and was amazed at how choked it was with cars and semis headed northward. FWIW the official detour from FDOT for northbound traffic was SR 44 east to US 301 north...

btl1016:

--- Quote from: Alex on October 10, 2021, 03:55:07 PM ---
--- Quote from: btl1016 on October 10, 2021, 12:31:08 PM ---For years there have been multiple discussions in the state on what to do to relieve the ever growing congested I-75 corridor between Wildwood and SR-326. FDOTs main solution is to just extend the Suncoast Parkway all the way to I-10 but in my opinion this wonít do much to solve the growing congestion issues at all.
--- End quote ---

Was a solution at least, but the bulk of that extension is off the table now.


--- Quote from: btl1016 on October 10, 2021, 12:31:08 PM ---From what Iíve noticed, traffic drastically improves once you pass 326 north of Ocala as a good portion of traffic gets off at 326 to cross over to US-301 to head towards Jacksonville (which the Suncoast Parkway wonít do anything to relieve). It seems like it would make more sense for the state to do these 2 two things. First widen I-75 from 6 to 8 lanes between the Turnpike and SR-326 and ďurbanizeĒ the Ocala interchanges with auxiliary merging lanes. This will allow room for another passing lane for cars to combat the ever growing semi traffic and help the merging bottleneck in the Ocala area. Second they should build the long needed bypass around Ocala to relief traffic off I-75 in Ocala and provide a solution for Jacksonville bound traffic to exit the interstate sooner. A Ocala bypass was actually initially planned in the original 1960s I-75 master-plan but it was never built and in my opinion, would do much more to combat the traffic issues than the useless Suncoast Parkway expansion. Thoughts?

--- End quote ---

Well instead we'll be getting another interchange sandwiched in between U.S. 27 and SR 326 to accommodate yet more distribution and logistic centers. A DDI is scheduled for construction with NW 49th Street in 2024.

I think a bypass of Ocala for regional traffic is a great idea that will never happen. Furthermore a limited access connector between I-75 and U.S. 301 north of SR 326 is needed, but also not something considered.


--- Quote from: formulanone on October 10, 2021, 12:40:50 PM ---Traffic counts and population has steadily risen over the last 25 years since I-75 was widened to three lanes from Wildwood to I-10, but without too much increase in lane count. The trip from South Florida to Gainesville (or points north) wasn't too bad, except on days around and during holiday weekends. Now, it seems like that's every day...

--- End quote ---

Rode through Ocala along I-75 at midnight on Friday, and traffic was still thick. I have avoided Ocala numerous times in recent years because of the traffic congestion. At the end of last year there was an incident that resulted in the closure of I-75 northbound and subsequent gawker delays southbound. We shifted onto parallel CR 475 and was amazed at how choked it was with cars and semis headed northward. FWIW the official detour from FDOT for northbound traffic was SR 44 east to US 301 north...

--- End quote ---

As I said above, no idea why the FDOT isnít at a minimum considering widening I-75 between Ocala and the Turnpike to 8 lanes and adding auxiliary lanes between the close interchanges in Ocala. FL Lawmakers have even publicly mentioned for years that something needs to be done as many of them use that stretch regularly to drive to Tallahassee. 6 lanes just isnít enough for this busy stretch of Highway anymore.

adventurernumber1:
I did not quite realize just how bad traffic congestion was on I-75 in Ocala and south to the Turnpike. The last time I've been on that stretch was back in 2014; I remember there was tons of traffic but I never quite realized the magnitude of it (and it is probably even worse now, 7 years later). Widening I-75 in Ocala and adding the auxiliary lanes for the close-proximity exits is a very intriguing idea and would no doubt help a lot. I think it would be worth the money to put into it, as most likely this area is only going to continue to grow, and at a fast rate (not to mention the long-distance traffic going through it). An eastern bypass of Ocala would indeed be extremely helpful, although it might be a bit tricky due to just how much development is in the area.

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