A new Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) traffic pattern has been established at the State Road 56/Interstate 75 interchange, but work continues to provide the kind of relief from congestion during peak traffic periods.
State Road 56 was closed down entirely for a portion of a weekend and when it reopened on May 1, there were new ways to travel through the State Road 56/I-75 interchange.
But motorists continue to face wait times, now that State 56 has reopened.
In an update released from the District Seven Office of the Florida Department of Transportation, officials acknowledged: “During peak driving hours, significant traffic congestion has occurred for some traffic movements.
“After any major traffic change, adjustments are typically needed during the first few weeks of operation. We have been making traffic signal adjustments each day this week to improve the traffic flow, particularly during peak afternoon/evening hours on the northbound Interstate 275/Interstate 75 exit ramp to State Road 56.
“Other changes will also be made to improve the operation of the new DDI area; including adding another thru-lane in each direction as we progress towards the final configuration of the area.”
Work on the new traffic configuration at the interchange is expected to be completed by this summer.
The DDI was chosen because of its ability to handle heavy left-turn volumes, such as the westbound to southbound movement from State Road 56 to I-75.
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, according to FDOT.
During the Pasco County Commission’s May 3 meeting, Commissioner Mike Moore mentioned the reopening and thanked former Speakers of the House Will Weatherford and Richard Corcoran for their work in securing funding for that improvement years before it was initially slated for funding.
Without them, Moore said, it could have been 2028 before improvement was completed. Now, completion is just months away.
The project initially was expected to be completed before the holidays, but that didn’t happen because the original contractor was found to be in default by FDOT and a replacement contractor was brought in to finish the work.
That work is ongoing, and while the work is being done, there will be land closures to accommodate the construction.
As of May 1, all lanes and ramps are open at the State Road 56/I-75 Diverging Diamond Interchange that will open in this phase of construction, according to FDOT.
Two thru-lanes are open in each direction of State Road 56 over I-75, plus there are dedicated lanes to enter northbound and southbound I-75. All ramp movements are open and available to enter and exit I-75.
Here’s a list of scheduled lane closures.
- I-275 (Exit 59) /I-75 (Exit 275) northbound exit ramps to westbound State Road 56: All traffic to be directed onto eastbound State Road 56, then will U-turn at Cypress Ridge Boulevard onto westbound State Road 56: Through May 13, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- I-75 southbound exit ramp to State Road 56: Lane shifts, through May 13, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- State Road 56, from Grand Cypress Drive to Cypress Ridge Boulevard: Lane closures: through May 14, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- Eastbound State Road 56 left turn onto entrance ramp to northbound I-75, U-turn at Cypress Ridge Boulevard and use westbound State Road 56 access to ramp: through May 14, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- State Road 56 westbound turn lanes to southbound I-75 ramp: Lane closures, through May 14, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Motorists are reminded that this is a construction work zone, so to use care when traveling through the area and to keep an eye out for construction crews.
To stay abreast of the latest information about this project, visit tinyurl.com/2s5pa7w6.
Published May 11, 2022