Sarasota News Leader

10/18/2013

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NO 'DIVERGING DIAMOND,' PLEASE An illustration shows how a diverging diamond interchange could be created at Interstate 75 and University Parkway. Image courtesy Sarasota County SARASOTA COUNTY'S INTERIM TRANSPORTATION PLANNING DIRECTOR HOPES TO TALK STATE OFFICIALS OUT OF A COMPLEX INTERCHANGE PROPOSAL FOR I-75 AND UNIVERSITY PARKWAY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Improved connectivity can be created without a radically new interchange design at University Parkway and more lanes on Fruitville Road: That is the argument Sarasota County staff members plan to make when they meet at the end of this month with the District One secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). During an Oct. 9 discussion of a revised road proposal for the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR) Villages of Lakewood Ranch South, Jonathan B. Paul, the county's interim transportation planning director, said he hopes to convince FDOT officials that a new overpass across Interstate 75 and Cattlemen Road would be preferable to the "diverging diamond" interchange plan FDOT is espousing for I-75 and University Parkway. During an April 16 presentation to both the Sarasota and Manatee county commissions, FDOT consultants discussed the interchange proposal. A memo from Sarasota County Engineer James K. Harriott Jr. to the board explained that it would encompass two special-use lanes that would run both northbound and southbound, along with three general-use lanes in each direction, a 64-foot-wide median and auxiliary lanes in both directions.

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