In October 2021, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), part of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), began an Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) study to evaluate the extension of Florida’s Turnpike from its northerly terminus in Wildwood to a logical and appropriate terminus as determined by FDOT. The Northern Turnpike Extension (NTE) study area includes Citrus, Levy, Marion, and Sumter counties.
Improving I-75 is one of the most significant transportation issues facing the county.
There is no doubt that I-75 is near capacity. To accommodate the projected population growth and increased truck traffic, the road’s capacity will have to be expanded.
Horse Farms Forever recently met with the team from the Florida Department of Transportation to learn more about the Master Plan to improve nearly 50 miles of I-75 in the Marion County area. I-75 also runs through the Farmland Preservation Area, so we are watching this project closely.
At the Marion County Commission meeting on Tuesday, the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) was approved for the 10.5-mile segment of SW/NW 80th/70th Avenue. This road will be widened to four lanes, starting at SW 90th Avenue to 0.5 miles north of US Hwy 27. Funding for design of phased portions of the corridor is available in the current budget.
Paul Wildman, P.E., from Guerra Development Group, presented the PER, a 900-page document with detailed maps and conceptual designs of the proposed road. The PER report is the first phase. The next three phases are: design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.
Over 200 people attended the workshops on July 14 and 15 about the SW/NW 80th/70th Avenue road-widening project. Marion County’s Deputy County Engineer, Donald Atwell and representatives from Guerra Development Corporation presented several options for the proposed improvements, which include expanding the current roadway to a four-lane road with bike lanes, pedestrian walks, and a grass median. Wednesday’s meeting focused on the road improvements that are south of SR 40. Thursday’s meeting focused on the road improvements north of SR 40.
The public is invited to provide input on the SW/NW 80th/70th Avenue road widening project at two meetings hosted by Guerra Development Corporation.
The meetings will be held on Wednesday, July 14 and Thursday, July 15 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at Westport High School Auditorium.
Engineers from Guerra Development Corporation will present information about the road widening project in two separate meetings. The first meeting on July 14 will focus on the road improvements located south of SR 40. The second meeting on July 15 will be focused on the section of the road north of SR 40.
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's 193,000 acre Farmland Preservation Area.
Join the herd. Every voice matters.