Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials and construction staff will discuss the upcoming $7.9 million I-75 and U.S. 441 Alachua interchange project at an open house Wednesday.
Construction for the new southbound entrance ramp, which will begin next week, will take roughly 18 months to complete, according to FDOT officials. The new ramp will include a direct route onto the interstate and eliminate the curved ramp currently in use.
Project spokesperson Laurie Windham said there’s a reason for the extra construction.
“It’s a safety and convenience feature,” she said. “This project was in due time because of increased volumes of traffic and large trucks in that area. We have several distribution centers and services that use this interchange.”
City of Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper said FDOT is funding the project.
“They recognize the importance of keeping this interchange flowing,” he said. “They are starting in October and should be done by 2015. It is important for it to be completed because people use this specific interchange on a regular basis, from all over.”
The open house will be located at the former KFC site in the southwestern corner of I-75 and U.S. 441 in Alachua and will begin at 4 p.m.
Coerper said to predict delays in the coming months and for drivers to stay alert. The project will also include more high-mast lighting and a park-and-ride lot.