$32 million I-75 widening project begins in Collier County

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – A $32 million project to widen I-75 in Collier County is now underway.

The project will widen the interstate to six lanes from just north of Collier Boulevard to just north of Golden Gate Parkway.

Crews have been widening I-75 from Naples to Tampa.  This 5 mile stretch is one of the last sections left. It’s a change some drivers welcome.

“When you’re driving on that street and you’re behind somebody that’s going a little too slow, or you’re trying to get somewhere faster, you have more options to go onto different lanes,” said driver Priscilla Torres.

Right now, crews are installing construction signs and a silt fence for erosion control. As part of the $32 million project, crews will add a 12 foot travel lane and a 10 foot shoulder to both northbound and southbound sides of the interstate.

“As far as I-75 is concerned, it’s the area I’m least angry about as far as the traffic situation goes,” said Chris Conyers. “So, it doesn’t seem like the biggest problem in my opinion.”

State transportation officials say as more people move to Southwest Florida, there’s going to be more traffic. They’re warning drivers they will see some closures and delays as the project moves forward.

“I’ve never encountered a traffic jam on that section of the road. I’ll tell you that much,” said Conyers.

The project is expected to be completed in early 2017.

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