Interstate 75 south
Leading away from the busy interchange with University Parkway, Interstate 75 passes by the new Mall at University Town Center and Cooper Creek Lake to the west. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Interstate 75 continues two miles toward Florida 780 (Exit 210). Venice is situated within the central part of Sarasota County with its city center located 23 miles ahead. Photo taken 04/05/14.
This guide sign alerts motorists to the distance for the next three exits that serve the area gulf beaches. All three state-maintained roads also serve Sarasota proper, with SR 780 leading west to Lido Key and St. Armands and SR 758 and SR 72 spanning the Intracoastal Waterway to Siesta Key. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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1.25 miles north of Florida 780 (Exit 210) on Interstate 75 south. SR 780 follows Fruitville Road west from the interstate toward the historic district of downtown Sarasota. Traveling east of the interchange, Fruitville Road becomes county-maintained as it makes its way toward Old Myakka and Sandy, passing through the community of Fruitville along the way. Signage was replaced at all Sarasota-based interchanges sometime between November 2007 and July 2011. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Approaching the six-ramp partial-cloverleaf interchange (Exit 210) with SR 780 on I-75 south. Growth in the late 1990's and early 2000's turned Florida 780 (Fruitville Road) 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. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Florida 780 is heavily developed west of Exit 210 and 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 (Tamiami Trail) just off Sarasota Bay. Motorists can reach St. Armands via Florida 789 (John Ringling Boulevard) and the John Ringling Causeway. Also use Florida 780 west to reach the famous Ringling Museum of Art. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
Industrial frontage lines both sides of Interstate 75 south from SR 780 to Phillippi Creek. Photo taken 04/05/14.
A partial-cloverleaf interchange lies two miles ahead with Bee Ridge Road (SR 758). Venice is another 18 miles with Naples is now 109 miles away. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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1.25 miles out from Exit 207 with Florida 758 (Bee Ridge Road) on Interstate 75 south. Bee Ridge Road is another heavily used and developed east-west arterial linking the freeway with Sarasota proper. State maintenance ends at the interchange. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Now within one-half mile of the Exit 207 off-ramp to Florida 758 (Bee Ridge Road). The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is located in Downtown Sarasota and can be reached via Florida 758 (Bee Ridge Road) west and U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) north. Covering nearly 14 acres, the gardens take in over 130,000 visitors each year. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Motorists reach the departure ramp for Exit 207. Bee Ridge Road provides an indirect connection with the northern end of Siesta Key, via Osprey Avenue north and Siesta Drive (also Florida 758) west. The state road concludes its 11.20-mile route opposite the eastbound beginning of SR 72 on Siesta Key. Photo taken 01/02/06. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
Proctor Road (former CR 72A) appears in the distance beyond this southbound reassurance marker. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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The last of four interchanges to serve the Sarasota area, Interstate 75 approaches Florida 72 (Clark Road) and Exit 205. The state road ventures west to Florida 758 on Siesta Key and extends east through Myakka River State Park to end at Florida 70, a few miles west of Arcadia, seat of DeSoto County. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Florida 72 (Clark Road) consists of a six-lane arterial west of I-75 while becoming a rural two-lane highway to the east. Heavy residential and commercial development have been slow to approach the 42.56-mile long state road to the east.
Sarasota was replaced with nearby Siesta Key as a control point sometime after November 2007. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Leaving the greater Sarasota area, I-75 pushes southward toward the Venice Connector (Florida 681) in four miles. The incorporated city of North Port, situated along the U.S. 41 corridor, succeeds Venice along I-75 in less than a half-hour drive away. Photos taken 04/05/14.
A random reassurance marker for Interstate 75 south located between Florida 72 (Exit 205) and Florida 681 (Exit 200). Photo taken 04/05/14.
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I-75 south approaches the wye interchange with Florida 681 in one mile. Florida 681 constitutes a controlled-access spur connecting Interstate 75 south with U.S. 41, Osprey, and Venice. Sign replacement between November 2007 and July 2011 yielded the omission of the pull-through sign for I-75 south. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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A diagrammatic overhead alerts motorists to the upcoming split with Florida 681. Past plans called for the freeway to become a super-arterial for central Sarasota County, with at least three at-grade intersections for future residential and commercial development. One such intersection was created when Honore Avenue was extended south from SR 72, downgrading the route to controlled-access standards. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Two lanes depart Interstate 75 south for Florida 681 south (Exit 200). The 4.14-mile route connects with U.S. 41 south of Osprey and just north of Laurel Road. The pull-through signage for I-75 south was also removed some time after November 2007. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
A reassurance marker immediately south of the departure ramp for Florida 681. Note that there is no entry to Interstate 75 south from Florida 681 north. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Expansion of I-75 to six lanes was completed between SR 681 (Exit 200) and River Road (Exit 191) by summer 2012. Laurel Road (Exit 195) links Interstate 75 with Nokomis and Venice while Naples is now within 100 miles of the Naples area.
This mileage sign was removed during freeway widening. Photo taken 07/02/11.
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Interstate 75 south approaches Laurel Road (Exit 195) in 1.25 miles. As part of the expansion to six overall lanes, a new southbound span over Cow Pen Slough was built, realigning the southbound lanes closer within the wide median.
Green-outs featuring county road designations, including many that are no longer included in the FDOT Federal Aid Report, were added at all interchanges between Exit 195 and North Port between 2006 and 2011. Photo taken 07/02/11. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
The original southbound carriageway of Interstate 75 appears along side the new travel lanes leading to Exit 195. These lanes will be utilized as part of a southward extension of Honore Avenue from SR 681 to Laurel Road. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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Originally, Laurel Road (former Sarasota County 762) had no direct access to the interstate. Construction of the interchange occurred well over a decade after the opening of Interstate 75 through this area. Laurel Road travels west to Bayshore Road near Laurel and Nokomis to the west and east to a dead end near the Myakka River. Photo taken 07/02/11. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
The carriageways of I-75 are separated by nearly 1,000 feet at the diamond interchange (Exit 195) with Laurel Road. The freeway also formally enters the city of Venice at this point. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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Jacaranda Boulevard (Exit 193) connects Interstate 75 with the city of Venice in 1.25 miles. Photo taken 07/02/11. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
Interstate 75 begins a 14.8 mile eastward jaunt across central Sarasota County near Exit 193, curving back to the southeast after Exit 179. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Jacaranda Boulevard (former Sarasota County 765) stems south from Border Road near Exit 193 to connect with U.S. 41 and Florida 776 near South Venice. Exit 193 also provides motorists the first of two connections with Englewood, located along the Florida 776 corridor near the Sarasota-Charlotte county line. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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Jacaranda Boulevard meanders south on the eastern peripheral of Venice to East Venice and South Venice. Connections via east-west arterials (Venice Avenue and Center Road) lead drivers back into Venice. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Interstate 75 south next approaches River Road (unsigned Sarasota County 777) and Exit 191. River Road provides a second vital link between Englewood and the interstate. A signed Sarasota County 777 exists along River Road between U.S. 41 and its southern terminus at Florida 776 in Englewood. Photo taken 11/25/07. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
Crossing Havana Road on I-75 south, one half mile west of the diamond interchange (Exit 191) with River Road. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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Interstate 75 south reaches River Road (Exit 191) and the current end of the six-lane portion south from Tampa Bay. Overall CR 777 tallies 7.67 miles from Exit 191 to SR 776 (Indiana Avenue) at Englewood.
A rest area formerly resided in the northeast quadrant of the interchange. Photo taken 07/02/11. Second photo taken 04/05/14.
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Crossing over the Myakka River, I-75 continues on its brief eastward trajectory. The Myakka River meanders from Lower Myakka Lake within Myakka River State Park southeastward and empties into Charlotte Harbor east of El Jobean. Photos taken 04/05/14.
Sumter Boulevard (8 miles) provides travelers access to North Port while Port Charlotte (22 miles) is situated along the north banks of the Peace River across from Punta Gorda in Charlotte County. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Leading due east, Interstate 75 enters the North Port City limits at Van Camp Waterway. A pervasive network of rural streets spreads both north and south of the freeway along this stretch. Photo taken 04/05/14.
The first of two North Port exits joins I-75 with Sumter Boulevard (former Sarasota County 771) in 1.25 miles. North Port is a sprawling municipality that saw tremendous growth until the economic bust of the late 2000s. North Port Charlotte is the official incorporated name, but in 1974 residents approved a change to be simply known as North Port. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Sumter Boulevard was sparsely developed between U.S. 41 and Interstate 75 until the late 1990's and early 2000's. Residential subdivisions and commercial centers grew along the north-south arterial during the economic boom of the mid 2000's, though there is still no commercial outlets at the interchange. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Interstate 75 south reaches the diamond interchange (Exit 182) with Sumter Boulevard. The majority of Sumter Boulevard has been widened to accommodate four lanes of traffic with one remaining two-lane section between W. Price Boulevard and Heron Creek Boulevard. North Port City Hall resides along Sumter Boulevard as it winds southward to U.S. 41 and the commercial center of the city. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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Continuing east from Exit 182, Interstate 75 advances toward Punta Gorda. Cape Coral appears at 47 miles out. The Lee County city resides west of Fort Myers and the Caloosahatchee River and is home to over 150,000 residents. With more miles logged, Naples gets even closer as it is now only 81 miles ahead. Photos taken 04/05/14.
The first of two exits serving Port Charlotte, Interstate 75 approaches Toledo Blade Boulevard (Exit 179). Toledo Blade Boulevard constitutes a north-south arterial that connects the interstate with U.S. 41 just to the east of North Port. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Toledo Blade Boulevard south to Florida 776 (El Jobean Road) leads motorists to Charlotte Sport Park, spring training site for the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team and their minor league affiliate, the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Toledo Blade Boulevard heads north from Exit 179 a short distance to Tropicaire Boulevard and south across the eastern portion of North Port before entering Charlotte County. The arterial crosses U.S. 41 northwest of Murdock and loops east, becoming Cochran Boulevard east of Collingswood Boulevard. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Interstate 75 reaches the departure ramp for Toledo Blade Boulevard (Exit 179). Initial plans from the 1970's incorporated Toledo Blade Boulevard into an extension of Florida 39 south from Hillsborough County. This route designation never came to fruition, most likely due to the states dismantling and decommissioning of state roads in the early 1980's. Instead Toledo Blade Boulevard carries the former numbering of Sarasota County 779 between I-75 and U.S. 41. Photo taken 04/05/14.
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Resuming a southern trajectory, Interstate 75 is now within eight miles of Charlotte County. Fort Myers is still 42 miles away. Photos taken 04/05/14.
Interstate 75 south begins its approach to Kings Highway (Exit 170) prior to exiting Sarasota County. Photo taken 04/05/14.
Interstate 75 briefly nips the southwest corner of DeSoto County before reaching Kings Highway (Exit 170). Arcadia, the county seat and only incorporated town within the county, lies 21.1 miles to the east. Photo taken 04/05/14.


 


Photo Credits:

01/02/06, 11/25/07, 07/02/11, 04/05/14 by AARoads

Page Updated 04-10-2014.