Officials from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) have offered a bit of a playbook to help motorists avoid holiday traffic jams near the Interstate 75/State Road 56 interchange.
The interchange happens to be near Cypress Creek Town Center, which includes Tampa Premium Outlets, west of the intersection on State Road 56; and The Shops at Wiregrass, east of the interchange on State Road 56.
There also are myriad shops and restaurants in the general area — making the State Road 54/State Road 56 corridor a busy area.
Add the holidays and a major construction project into the mix, and traffic jams could become a real source of frustration during the holidays.
So, the folks at FDOT’s District Seven office are offering some practical suggestions that could help during the holidays, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
Their first word of advice? Avoid the area, when possible.
Instead of getting off at the State Road 56/I-75 exit, FDOT officials advise southbound motorists to get off at the State Road 54/I-75 exit. Those motorists can head west from that interchange and then take Wesley Chapel Boulevard south to State Road 56, to access the area on State Road 56, west of I-75.
At the same exit, head east over to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and then south to State Road 56, to access the areas east of I-75.
Here are some other suggestions:
- Use other roads to travel around the highly congested area of SR 56 at I-75, and also near shopping malls, especially if your destination is not actually on the State Road 54/State Road 56 corridor.
- Seek out alternate access points to shopping and dining destinations. (Remember many major shopping areas have multiple access points to and from parking areas.)
- Shop or commute during off-peak hours, when possible. Congestion at SR 56/I-75 is at its worst between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., on weekdays, so try to avoid that area during those hours.
In addition to issuing this guidance, the FDOT “will adjust traffic signals for seasonal traffic patterns and the project team is working on other plans to help improve travel times,” according to a news release from Kris Carson, spokeswoman for FDOT’s District Seven office.
Published Nov. 24, 2021