Work is approaching the halfway mark on the diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 75 and State Road 56.
The project is expected to be completed in summer 2022, according to Florida Department of Transportation officials.
“We’ve got quite a way to go,” said John McShaffrey, FDOT communications outreach manager in District 7. “Until we get to the point we can convert to the diverging diamond, we really won’t see any benefit to the traffic or to pedestrians.”
Construction to retrofit the interchange began in 2019 on the project, which has an estimated cost of $33.2 million.
Diverging diamond interchanges rely on multiple lanes of traffic in a crisscross pattern, with a limited number of traffic signals.
Periodic lane closures and traffic shifts will be required, though most of the work is within the ramp areas. Activities are concentrated at the interchange between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Cypress Ridge Boulevard.
Once the new design is road ready, the interchange is expected to ease traffic gridlock at one of the county’s busiest intersections, where I-75, State Road 56, State Road 54 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard converge.
Tampa Premium Outlets, the Cypress Creek Town Center, AdventHealth Center Ice and Brightwater Crossings apartment complex are driving growth in retail and residential development.
They also are drawing long lines of motorists moving onto and off the busy roadways.
The project originally slated to begin in 2024 got moved ahead of schedule by about two years.
Just two weeks ago, the DOT announced that the project’s completion date was accelerated by two weeks under a directive by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The governor is taking advantage of reduced traffic volumes at this time to get road work completed more quickly.
This project is the first diverging diamond in District 7 of the FDOT.
Other similar designs are planned in Hillsborough County for State Road 54 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, at I-75; and at Gibsonton Drive, at I-75.
Florida’s first diverging diamond opened at University Parkway at I-75, in Sarasota, in 2017.
Published May 20, 2020