Sarasota, Florida -- A solution to the growing traffic problems at the University Parkway and the I-75 connection in Lakewood Ranch may be coming sooner than expected -- about 20 years sooner.

The Florida Department of Transportation is trying to put the project on its priority list to begin in the next few years. State officials plan to seek $60 million to build the state's first "diverging diamond interchange."

The plan comes with a couple of conditions, Manatee and Sarasota counties would commit to the state's plan and $30 million in road improvements to nearby roads.

Motorists say it's about time.

"It's good news, but we all know how long it'll take to do anything. What's construction -- three to five years? The next three to five years are going to be hell. I still don't know what the plan looks like," saysSteve Schwaid.

Motorists say the roads can't keep up with the rapid growth. There's a new mall opening in October plus Lakewood Ranch continues to expand.

If approved the project would begin by 2017, just before the World Rowing Championship at Benderson Park near the intersection.


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