Superior Construction Company Southeast LLC began working on the completion of the Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) last week, at State Road 56 and Interstate 75.
Work activities in the first few weeks will involve cleanup, surveying, and other tasks needed to safely resume construction. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2022, according to information on the Florida Department of Transportation’s website.
Activities last week were expected to include mobilization of labor, equipment and materials, erosion control, survey, jobsite cleanup of debris and office setup, according to an update provided by Kris Carson, spokeswoman for the District 7 office of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
Minor pothole and erosion control repairs were completed last week by the interim maintenance contractor, the update adds, with maintenance responsibility expected to be fully transitioned to Superior by Sept. 20.
The project will reconfigure the I-75/State Road 56 interchange between County Road 54 and Cypress Ridge Boulevard, in Pasco County.
The existing diamond interchange will be modified and converted to a DDI.
The main change will be to diverge, or cross, State Road 56 traffic to the left side of the road through the interchange, and then cross vehicles back over to the right side of the road on the opposite side of the interchange.
The changes will help to alleviate traffic congestion at this interchange to reduce travel time for motorists in this rapidly growing area, according to information posted on FDOT’s website.
A DDI was chosen for the I-75/State Road 56 interchange because of the proven ability of this traffic configuration to increase safety and capacity while using a large amount of the existing interchange footprint, including the existing bridge, according to FDOT.
The DDI also was chosen because of its ability to handle heavy left-turn volumes, such as the westbound to southbound movement from State Road 56 to southbound I-75.
The new interchange at State Road 56 will reduce vehicle delays by allowing traffic to enter the interstate without waiting at a left-turn signal. To do this, traffic is redirected from the right side of the bridge to the left side.
Signalized crossovers are positioned at each side of the interchange, and are designed to cross eastbound and westbound State Road 56 traffic with no turning movements at these two intersections. This design allows for more efficient signal timing, which reduces delay times, minimizes conflict points, and enables the interchange to more effectively handle higher volumes of traffic while eliminating the more serious crashes associated with a conventional interchange.
These types of interchanges operate under two-phase signal control, which reduces lost time, delays and queue lengths at traffic signals.
Safety features include lower design speeds between ramps and a reduction in the number of conflict points. The lower speeds result in less severe crashes.
The design also fosters increased safety for pedestrians and bicycles, and better sight distance at turns.
The expected benefits for the interchange are an increase in capacity and pedestrian safety while reducing vehicle delays and crashes. These benefits will be achieved by an increased number of lanes, improved pedestrian facilities, more efficient signal timings and reduced vehicle conflict points, the FDOT says.
Future project updates on the diverging diamond will be provided at FDOT’s website, at FDOTTampaBay.com/.
Carson also provided updates on other projects that were halted when DAB Constructors ceased operations.
State Road 52, Suncoast Parkway to U.S. 41
The surety has received bids from prospective completion contractors on Sept. 9 and is evaluating the bids.
Quail Ridge requested additional delineation at entrance; additional barrels were placed on Sept. 17.
New Beginning Family Ministry requested additional mowing at their entrance, which was performed on Sept. 16.
Work continues on necessary pothole and silt fence repairs throughout the site.
State Road 54, from Curley Road to Morris Bridge Road
The surety responded to questions from prospective bidders, posting those responses on Sept. 14. Bids are expected to be received the end of September.
The surety’s subcontractor has been mowing, performing litter control and filling potholes at side streets and driveways throughout the project.
Emerald Striping is receiving school ahead sign panels to be installed by early next week. The flashing beacons for the signs are expected to be installed within three weeks to five weeks.
Also, FDOT maintenance crews have been onsite filling in washouts behind sidewalks project-wide.
Driveways and side streets milling was scheduled to begin on Sept. 18, with paving scheduled to begin this week.
Published September 22, 2021