News Section: State Government
FDOT Defends Role in University Interchange Project
BRADNETON – At a recent Sarasota/Manatee MPO meeting, updates were given on the planned "diverging diamond" interchange at exit 213 of I-75 (University Parkway). FDOT officials want to clarify the department's role, respective to the project's cost and time line.
Regarding reports that the project was "pushed back," and had grown more expensive than initially reported, Robin Stublen, FDOT's Public Information Specialist, wrote:
"The Florida Department of Transportation is considering options for funding that would allow construction of the I-75/University Parkway interchange project to start in the summer of 2015, a schedule we have consistently presented to elected officials, the public and the media.
"Initially, the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization directed FDOT not to begin construction at the interchange until after the World Rowing Championships in 2017 concluded.
“That direction changed, and we have made significant progress in preparation of design plans required to bid and build the job. As our engineers move beyond design in its early conceptual phase and develop detailed formal design plans, construction estimates are refined and communicated in present-day costs."
The project will follow the October opening of the Mall at University Town Center, a large, upscale, open-air retail project on the southwest corner of the exit. The 2017 World Rowing championships are scheduled to be hosted by Nathan Benderson Park, a world-class rowing facility just south of the mall.
Click here to see video of the July 28 MPO meeting referenced above.
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