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Construction on Pasco County's I-75 diamond exchange set to begin

Posted at 4:42 PM, Jan 03, 2019

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Construction is scheduled to start this month on Pasco's new diverging diamond interchange, and for some resident's it's a long awaited change.

New diverging diamond interchange at I-75, State Road 56 intersection to ease traffic

Dana Morris remembers Wesley Chapel 20 years ago.

“It was like cows and one traffic light and none of this stuff was here.”

And she’s seen so much growth in the last two decades, residential and commercial.

“It’s been kind of miraculous, amazing and horrible all at once.”

Her coffee shop, Buttermilk Provisions is just one of dozens of businesses that have come to Wesley Chapel in recent years.

But with all the growth, especially around Tampa Premium Outlets mall, there comes more traffic.

“Maybe 3 or 4 times a day I’m on the interstate and I come off. And I’m like oh my gosh.”

Back ups on I-75 as drivers try and get on and off State Road 56 are the stuff traffic nightmares are made of.

That’s why so many are looking forward to the diverging diamond project.

Construction is expected to start this month.

The project is starting at least four years ahead of schedule because the need is so great.

The big difference is that traffic will use an overpass to drive on the opposite side of the road.

Sarah Contino has used the diamond exchange that opened in 2017 near Sarasota and says she can’t wait to have something similar here.

“As soon as that diamond went up it made a big difference. So when we found out they were doing that hear we were really excited about that. I think it will help a lot,” she said.

The Department of Transportation says fears about the interchange were unfounded and they haven’t seen any rise in accidents.

Construction is expected to take up to three years and will cost about $33 million.