A Chance to Comment on the I75 Interchange at NW49th Street

On Wednesday, November 18, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, a public hearing will take place. We will be there as FDOT shares the results of their study. The public is invited to comment on the “the location, conceptual design, and social, economic and environmental effects of the proposed improvements.” We intend to suggest some improvements that would make the interchange a fitting gateway for the Horse Capital of the World® and the Farmland Preservation Area. It is our intention always to work collaboratively and affect positive change where necessary to protect Marion County’s global brand. Instructions for participation in person and virtually are in the hearing notice below:

Dear Government Partner:

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) invites you to a public hearing regarding the Interstate 75 (I-75) at NW 49th Street Interchange Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study. The location of the proposed interchange is at NW 49th Street, approximately two miles north of the I-75 and U.S. 27 interchange in Marion County. The public hearing will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The purpose of the PD&E Study is to evaluate proposed improvement alternatives for the I-75 at NW 49th Street Interchange. This hearing is being conducted to give interested persons an opportunity to express their views concerning the location, conceptual design, and social, economic and environmental effects of the proposed improvements. The preferred alternative consists of a new diverging diamond interchange with on and off ramps to NW 49th Street, similar to a traditional diamond interchange. However, along NW 49th Street, the two directions of traffic crossover, or diverge, to the opposite side at the on/off ramps.

The Department is offering two ways for the community to participate in the hearing. Interested persons may join the Virtual Public Hearing (VPH) from a computer, tablet or phone. Or, they may participate in person by going to the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala, Florida 34470. All participants, regardless of platform they choose, will participate in the same live hearing.

A VPH is a free live presentation or webinar over the internet. If you wish to participate in the VPH online from a computer, tablet or mobile device, registration is required in advance by going to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8139573940021629453. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the VPH online. At this time, Internet Explorer is not supported by GoToWebinar, and the link for the meeting will not work on this platform. Please use an alternate web browser to register and attend the meeting. For participants who are unable to attend the webinar, they can listen to the hearing by calling (562) 247-8422 and entering access code 505-938-223 when prompted. Please note, while the call-in number is listen-only, callers may submit comments directly to the project manager by using the contact information listed below.

For those who choose to participate in person, the Department requests advance registration to ensure all attendees are accommodated safely and according to social distancing guidelines. Attendees will be asked to follow all safety and sanitation guidelines as well as adhere to any local ordinances. To register for the in-person option, please contact FDOT Project Manager Amy L. Windom, P.E., by phone at (386) 943-5074 or via email at amy.windom@dot.state.fl.us. Attendees who are not feeling well should not attend the in-person meeting.

The VPH and in-person meeting location open at 5:30 p.m. on November 18. A formal narrated PowerPoint presentation will begin promptly at 5:45 p.m., followed by a formal public comment period. If joining online, please provide adequate log-in time to view the presentation in its entirety.

All meeting materials, including the presentation, will be available on the project website at www.cflroads.com/project/435209-1 by November 20, 2020.

The project documents (draft environmental and engineering reports) are available for public review at the following locations:

  1. Ocala Public Library, 2720 East Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala, FL 34470 (Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  2. DeLand Library, 130 E. Howry Avenue, DeLand, FL 32724 (Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  3. Online at www.cflroads.com/project/435209-1

Persons wishing to submit written statements, in place of or in addition to oral statements, may do so at the hearing or by sending them to Amy L. Windom, P.E., FDOT Project Manager, via email at amy.windom@dot.state.fl.us, or by U.S. Mail to 719 S. Woodland Boulevard, Mail Station 501, DeLand, FL 32720. While comments about the project are accepted at any time, please send your comments by December 1, 2020 to be included in the records for this public hearing.

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or family status. Persons wishing to express their concerns relative to FDOT compliance with Title VI may do so by contacting Jennifer Smith, FDOT District Five Title VI Coordinator at Jennifer.Smith2@dot.state.fl.us.

Persons who require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Amy L. Windom, P.E., FDOT Project Manager, at 386-943-5074 or amy.windom@dot.state.fl.us at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by the FDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. §327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 14, 2016 and executed by the Federal Highway Administration and FDOT.

We encourage you to participate in the I-75 at NW 49th Street Interchange PD&E Study public hearing. If you have any questions or comments about the project, please contact Amy L. Windom, P.E., FDOT Project Manager, at 386- 943-5074 or amy.windom@dot.state.fl.us.

Always Watching

We work hard to keep you informed, and to represent our members' interests in preserving our horse farms, farmland and the unique character and culture of Marion County.

Join the herd. Every voice matters.