North I-75 Master Plan
I-75 is part of the Strategic Intermodal System and a major roadway supporting tourism, economic development, emergency management and the mobility of people and goods. The I-75 corridor from Florida’s Turnpike to the I-10 interchange — a six-lane, divided, limited-access freeway — exhibits unique characteristics. Its traffic congestion occurs due to recurring congestion (traffic bottlenecks) and nonrecurring congestion (incidents, seasonal and special events, as well as weather). This combination contributes to unsatisfactory traffic operations, which are expected to continue in the future.
The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Central Office hired Hanson to complete a plan study for North I-75, which analyzed the interstate from Florida’s Turnpike in Sumter County to the I-10 interchange in Columbia County, as well as major north-south corridors parallel to I-75, such as U.S. Route 41 to the west and U.S. routes 301 and 441 to the east. These corridors were studied for their ability to provide relief to I-75 during periods of nonrecurring and recurring congestion from a seasonal increase in use, lane closures and local traffic. The study evaluated I-75 in Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Citrus, Columbia, Duval, Levy, Marion and Sumter counties.
The study objectives were to immediately optimize existing transportation corridors and evaluate the corridors’ potential enhancements or transformation. For the I-75 corridor, short- and long-term improvements were evaluated to address capacity needs, improve traffic operations and enhance safety. The parallel corridors for U.S. routes 41, 441 and 301 were evaluated for capacity improvements at major bottlenecks to determine if they could function as relief corridors to I-75.
- Future improvements to the I-75 corridor to accommodate additional projected growth in freight, visitor and local commuter traffic, as well as to enhance public safety and emergency evacuation.
- Avoid significant improvements to alternative parallel corridors (U.S. routes 41, 441 and 301) to serve as reliever routes to I-75 because of the potential for extensive adverse impacts.
- Evaluate and implement short-term improvements to enhance safety, improve operations and extend the life of the I-75 corridor. Examples include signal coordination, fiber interconnection, Road Ranger’s service patrol and enhanced regional transportation management center operations.
- Further FDOT planning studies to determine long-term improvements, such as studying general-use lanes or express lanes, given the importance of I-75 to freight, tourism, the mobility of people and goods, as well as emergency evacuation.
- Further evaluation and studies for new multimodal and multiuse corridors.