Interstate 75 North - Sarasota County

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Interstate 75 North
Mileage signs such as this appear every so often along Florida interstates to alert motorists as to the distance to the next major freeway to freeway interchange. I-275 will intersect Interstate 75 north of Ellenton while the cross-state I-4 will meet the interstate north of the Brandon area. Photo taken 10/01/17.
Toledo Blade Boulevard (former CR 779) services Interstate 75 at Exit 179. The interstate transitions to an east-west alignment as it parallels neighboring U.S. 41 to the south and the southwest Florida coastline.
Toledo Blade Boulevard constitutes a north-south arterial that connects I-75 with U.S. 41 just to the east of the North Port city center. Photo taken 10/01/17.
Toledo Blade Boulevard heads south from Exit 179 to serve the eastern portion of North Port before entering Charlotte County. The arterial crosses U.S. 41 northwest of Murdock before looping east, becoming Cochran Boulevard east of Collingswood Boulevard in Murdock. Toledo Blade Boulevard also extends a mile north of the diamond interchange to Tropicaire Boulevard. Photo taken 10/01/17.
Interstate 75 reaches Toledo Blade Boulevard (old CR 779) and Exit 179. Original stamping on the median barrier of the overpasses indicated this route to be "State Road 39", serving as an extension of the county and state road that lies directly north in Manatee, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Initial plans from the 1970's also verify the existence of SR 39 along the Toledo Blade corridor. Photo taken 10/01/17.
$73 million expansion of I-75 to six overall lanes from Harborview Road to Sumter Boulevard started on January 4, 2016. The 15.6 mile project added a 12-foot travel lane and a 10-foot wide shoulder to the inside of both I-75 roadways.1 Photo taken 10/01/17.
The second of two North Port interchanges, Sumter Boulevard (former CR 771) approaches in 1.25 miles at Exit 182. Photo taken 10/01/17.
Until the late 1990's and early 2000's, Sumter Boulevard was sparsely populated between U.S. 41 and Interstate 75. Residential subdivisions and a few commercial centers grew along the north-south arterial during the economic boom of the mid 2000's, though there is still no motorists services at the interchange. Photo taken 10/01/17.
Interstate 75 north reaches the diamond interchange (Exit 182) with Sumter Boulevard. The arterial extends south to North Port City Hall and U.S. 41. Photo taken 10/01/17.
A $35.6 million project widened an 8.5 mile section of I-75 north from Sumter Boulevard to North River Road. Work commenced in October 2013 and was completed by fall 2016.2 Photo taken 07/09/17.
Interstate 75 continues west toward Venice. River Road (Exit 191) occurs in eight miles. Photo taken 10/01/17.
A wide median separates traffic along Interstate 75 as the freeway shifts northward through Deer Praire Creek Preserve at milepost 186.5. Photo taken 07/09/17.
One mile ahead of Exit 191 with River Road (unsigned CR 777) on I-75 north. River Road constitutes as a vital link between Englewood, which lies to the south along the Sarasota and Charlotte county line. and the interstate, CR 777 extends south from U.S. 41 to SR 776 in Englewood. Photo taken 10/01/17.
The diamond interchange with River Road lies immediately west of the Myakka River, which meanders from Lower Myakka Lake, within Myakka River State Park, southeastward and empties into Charlotte Harbor east of El Jobean. River Road parallels the Myakka southeast from Interstate 75 to U.S. 41 and Myakka State Forest. Photo taken 07/09/17.
River Road (CR 777) ends just north of the diamond interchange (Exit 191) with Interstate 75. A shuttered rest area lies beyond the northeast quadrant of the exchange. Photo taken 10/01/17.
Spanning the Myakka River, northbound Interstate 75 partitions with Exit 191 to River Road. A mileage swap in between Sarasota County and FDOT in May 2018 adds River Road (CR 777) south from I-75 to U.S. 41 as a state road in exchange for portions of SR 72 and SR 758 west of U.S. 41 to Siesta Key. The state will eventually widen River Road.3 Photo taken 10/01/17.
Jacaranda Boulevard (unsigned CR 765) connects Interstate 75 with the city of Venice at Exit 193. Jacaranda Boulevard meanders south from the interstate to U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) and SR 776 (Englewood Road) near South Venice. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Interstate 75 was expanded from four to six lanes between River Road and SR 681 by 2012. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Jacaranda Boulevard extends north into eastern reaches of Venice, linking motorists from Exit 193 to the city via east-west arterials (Venice Avenue and Center Road). Photo taken 10/01/17.
Entering the parclo interchange (Exit 193) with Jacaranda Boulevard on I-75 north. The sign at the Jacaranda Boulevard off-ramp replaced a previous assembly with an exit tab here after June 2015. Photo taken 10/01/17.
Exit 193 serves as the turning point for Interstate 75 as the freeway resumes a northerly direction heading toward the metro areas of Sarasota and Tampa. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Interstate 75 enters the Venice city limits at the Border Road overpass. The ensuing exit joins the freeway with Laurel Road. Laurel Road connects with Albee Farm Road south to the community of Nokomis and U.S. 41 north to Oscar Scherar State Park. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Laurel Road (former CR 762) is a four-lane arterial leading west to U.S. 41 at the community of Laurel and east to the Venetian Golf & River Club development and Venice Myakka River Park. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Originally, Laurel Road (old CR 762) had no direct access to Interstate 75. Construction of the interchange occurred well over a decade after the opening of I-75 through this area. Before mileage-based exit numbers were implemented, the exchange was numbered as Exit 35A. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Exit 195 consists of an elongated diamond as the I-75 roadways separate here, with nearly 1,000 feet separating the northbound and southbound lanes. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Next in line for northbound motorists along Interstate 75 is Exit 205 with SR 72 in nine miles. Downtown Sarasota is 17 miles to the northwest, with Tampa still an hour away. Photo taken 05/19/19.
SR 681 constitutes a 4.14-mile connection between U.S. 41 and a wye interchange (Exit 200) with I-75 north near Laurel. SR 681 was originally built as a limited-access spur with a 70 mph speed limit. However, the extension of Honore Avenue opened in March 2011 south to SR 681 ended the freeway status and reduced speeds (60 mph) along its entire stretch. Two additional at-grade intersections were subsequently added between I-75 and U.S. 41. Photo taken 05/19/19.
The merge with SR 681 previously commenced a six-lane stretch for I-75 that continued to Exit 265 (SR 582) in Tampa. That changed when widening was completed southward to North Port and again in 2016 with six-laning in north Hillsborough. Commercial truck restrictions for the left lane are in place for all six-lane sections of the freeway. Photo taken 05/19/19.
Three miles ahead of SR 72 (Exit 205). Interstate 75 skirts the east side of the Sarasota metro area, with the majority of development initially lying west of the freeway. Downtown Tampa lies on the north end of Tampa Bay, 62 miles away. Photo taken 05/19/19.
Interstate 275, the urban loop west from I-75 through both St. Petersburg and Tampa, begins in 26 miles while Interstate 4 crosses paths with I-75 in 59 miles. Photo taken 05/19/19.
A community interchanges identification sign advises motorists of the forthcoming access points to the area beaches. SR 72 (Clark Road) takes beach goers west to south Siesta Key while SR 758 (Bee Ridge Road) leads to north Siesta Key. SR 780 (Fruitville Road) provides access to St. Armands via SR 789 (Ringling Causeway). Photo taken 05/19/19.
The first of four exits to serve the Sarasota area, SR 72 (Clark Road) meets Interstate 75 at a diamond interchange (Exit 205). The state road begins to the west at U.S. 41 near Siesta Key and extends east through Myakka River State Park to end at SR 70 just outside of Arcadia. Photo taken 05/19/19.
SR 72 (Clark Road) consists of a six-lane arterial west from Exit 205. Eastward, SR 72 transitions into a rural two-lane highway as shifts southeast toward Myakka River State Park. Heavy residential and commercial development has been slow to extend along the state road east of Interstate 75. Photo taken 05/19/19.
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Taking the off-ramp at Exit 205, motorists approach a signalized intersection with SR 72 (Clark Road). Interests to Downtown Sarasota can follow SR 72 west to U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) north. Aracadia, seat of Desoto County, is 39 miles to the east. Photos taken 05/19/19.
A parclo interchange joins Interstate 75 north next with SR 758 (Bee Ridge Road) at Exit 207. Bee Ridge Road is another heavily used and developed east-west arterial in Sarasota. State maintenance ends at the interchange. Photo taken 05/19/19.
Future construction will reconfigure the exchange at Exit 207 into a hybrid DDI. Bee Ridge Road (SR 758) also serves as an indirect connection with the northern end of Siesta Key, via U.S. 41 and Siesta Drive (former SR 758). Photo taken 05/19/19.
Confirming marker posted beyond the entrance ramp from SR 758 (Bee Ridge Road). Reconstruction of Exit 207 is part the future widening of 3.8 miles of I-75 from south of SR 758 to south of SR 780 (Fruitville Road). Photo taken 05/19/19.
The third interchange for Sarasota along I-75 is with SR 780 (Fruitville Road) west at Exit 210. East of the exchange, Fruitville becomes county maintained, making its way east and north to the community of Fruitville en route toward SR 70. Photo taken 05/19/19.
Growth in the late 1990's and early 2000's turned SR 780 west of Exit 210 from a two lane route to a six-lane arterial. The expansion also included the addition of several traffic signals along the corridor. Future work at Fruitville Road converts the six-ramp parclo interchange into a DDI. Photo taken 05/19/19.
A heavily developed route, SR 780 west of the interchange with Interstate 75 passes by Robarts Arena on its way into Downtown Sarasota. The arena is home to the annual county fair as well as other events. The western terminus is at U.S. 41 near SR 789. Motorists can reach St. Armands via SR 789 (John Ringling Boulevard) and John Ringling Causeway. Photo taken 05/19/19.
Commuter traffic between Sarasota and Bradenton adds to seasonal traffic, totaling 123,500 vehicles per day (vpd) on the stretch of I-75 between Exits 210 and 213 as recorded in 2013. FDOT counts along this segment rose to 142,000 vpd in 2018. Photo taken 05/19/19.
University Parkway lies 2.5 miles ahead, followed by the city of Bradenton (23 miles) along the south banks of the Manatee River. Tampa is still 54 miles away.
The previous version of this sign listed Bradenton at 16 miles out. Photo taken 05/19/19.
22 months of construction both reconfigured Exit 213 with University Parkway into a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) and added auxiliary lanes along I-75. With 12 lanes on University Parkway, the largest DDI in the United States opened to traffic on May 20, 2017.4 Photo taken 05/19/19.
A portion of upcoming University Parkway was former U.S. 301 prior to its realignment and extension in the 1980's. U.S. 301 originally headed south from Bradenton and Oneco along Washington Boulevard to University Parkway west around the periphery of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ).
The airport was formerly referred to as Sarasota-Bradenton Regional Airport, but promoted to international status in November 1992 when it became a Port of Entry. Photo taken 05/19/19.
Two lanes depart I-75 north at the DDI (Exit 213) for University Parkway (unsigned CR 610). Development around the interchange was absent for years until the mid-1990's, when land to the east was opened up for residential communities. Lakewood Ranch grew out of cow pastures and horse farms to become one of the premiere unincorporated communities in adjacent Manatee County. Photo taken 05/19/19.
Exit 213 separates with two lanes for University Parkway east toward Lakewood Ranch and three for the arterial west to Sarasota. Anchored by the October 2014 completed Mall at University Town Center, University Parkway is heavily traveled residential and commercial corridor from Interstate 75 west to U.S. 41. Points of interest for Exit 213 include the famous Ringling Museum, SRQ Airport, and the New College of Florida and USF Sarasota-Manatee campuses via U.S. 41 north. Photo taken 07/09/17.
Passing over University Parkway, Interstate 75 enters Manatee County. Founded in 1855, the county is named after the state's official marine mammal, the manatee (sea cow as it is commonly called). Photo taken 05/19/19.

  1. "I-75 Six Lane Project from Harborview Road to Sumter Boulevard." Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), flyer. December 2015.
  2. "Widening efforts advance for I-75 through North Port." Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, FL), June 12, 2014.
  3. "Road swap paves way for River Road improvements." Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, FL), May 18, 2018.
  4. "New Diverging Diamond leaves some confused, but many think it's a positive change." Bradenton Herald (FL), May 21, 2017.

Photo Credits:

07/09/17, 10/01/17, 05/19/19 by AARoads

Connect with:
State Road 72

Page Updated 05-20-2019.

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