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Sunday, November 28, 2021

The last time Lauren Carpenter left Gainesville to go home to Tampa, she sat in traffic.

She isn’t the only one who has run into traffic on Interstate 75 through Alachua and Marion counties.

To help alleviate heavy traffic along I-75, the Florida Department of Transportation is constructing a master plan to be released in fall, said Andrew Young, the state interchange review coordinator for FDOT.

“This will allow us to more actively manage I-75,” he said.

In 2010, a study rated I-75 through Alachua and Marion counties, a C in rural areas and a D in urban areas for level of service by FDOT.

Expanding the highway to four lanes in each direction and implementing tolled express lanes are two of the long-term solutions that have been proposed, Young said.

In the short-term, FDOT will consider increasing road ranger presence, dynamic signs to alert drivers of congestion and signal coordination at cross streets to manage the flow of traffic, he said.

Ruth Steiner, a UF professor with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, said she hopes FDOT will listen to the residents of Alachua and Marion counties and look into short-term, less expensive solutions.

“Instead of a very expensive highway project, there are little things to do,” she said.

One solution proposed is to lower the speed limit in certain sections or during certain times of the day, she said.

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