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I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

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Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,575
reviews: 9
I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

A tanker truck swerved yesterday afternoon to avoid hitting a collision that had already occurred. It was raining, and the rig crashed over the railing and onto Hwy 301 below, exploding into an enormous fireball on impact. Miraculously, the driver was pulled from the wreckage and is in hospital with burns over 90% of his body-- in bad shape, but alive. No one else was injured.

The northbound overpass was not damaged, and is open to traffic.

The southbound was heavily damaged in the crash and resulting inferno, and will be closed for the foreseeable future (8 weeks is the latest estimate from the Florida Highway Patrol.)

At this time, all southbound traffic, whether from I-275 coming over the Skyway from St. Petersburg, or southbound from the northern part of the state, is being re-routed onto Hwy 41 and Business 41 through Bradenton and Palmetto, then back onto I-75 at Highway 64.

This morning's rush hour is a nightmare, with the tailback stretching some 7 miles.

Please allow for this detour in your time schedule and your driving plans.

Tampa
Destination Expert
for Anna Maria
posts: 4,199
reviews: 43
1. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

Thanks Sunshine, this is really a big deal if you are traveling to Anna Maria island in the next couple of days!

Bradenton, Florida
Destination Expert
for Bradenton, Anna Maria Island
posts: 5,429
reviews: 29
2. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

Sounds like it could be more than a few days. I think they were trying to fix the timing of the lights a bit ago, but it was not helping yet. I was coming thru the intersection at Rt. 64 and 301, coming from the east on 64 headed for the island. It took 9 minutes for the light to change. Traffic was flowing north on 301 the whole time, but only for a few minutes flowing south to hit 64 east. A mess, in other words. I would still recommend taking the right fork just before Palmetto, just past the hot pepper place. Little traffic on that bridge.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,575
reviews: 9
3. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

UPDATE 6/6:

The DOT will be constructing crossover lanes to allow two-way traffic on the remaining overpass on the northbound side -- which is expected to take a few more days. This will reduce speeds to 45-50mph -- so will remain a traffic issue for 6-8 weeks to come.

In the meantime, traffic is being diverted off of I-75 southbound at Hwy 301, over to US41, across the river, and back to I-75 at Hwy 64 -- this is about a 2-mile detour.

As of this morning, the northbound lanes of Hwy 301 are still closed - officials expect to have the work finished next week to reroute the existing lanes to carry 2-way traffic -- at least one lane each way, possibly 2.

The driver -- who managed to get himself out of his rig and crawl to safety! -- is in critical condition, and is a real survivor.

I'll keep posting important updates.

Bradenton, Florida
Destination Expert
for Bradenton, Anna Maria Island
posts: 5,429
reviews: 29
4. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

In the meantime, the paper today said the delays were about 2 hours yesterday. It's a bit more than 2 miles, probably 7-8 total, but plan on long delays thru the weekend.

Cambridge, United...
posts: 198
reviews: 9
5. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

Not knowing the area too well - does this mean we will have problems from Tampa to AMI?

Poor guy !! Thinking of him.

Bradenton, Florida
Destination Expert
for Bradenton, Anna Maria Island
posts: 5,429
reviews: 29
6. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

Yes!

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,575
reviews: 9
7. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

Today's backups were much better -- only 2-3 miles instead of 5-7...they're saying to allow an extra 90 minutes at this point to navigate the whole mess.

Avoiding rush hour traffic (7-9am and 4-6pm) on weekdays will help minimise your troubles.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,575
reviews: 9
8. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

Unfortunately, Raymond A. Neumann, the driver of the truck, passed away Saturday at Tampa General, leaving 6 children aged 10 and up.

Our prayers are with his family.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,575
reviews: 9
9. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

(probably my last post, unless something really big happens)

As of Monday June 9, the crossover lanes have been finished, and what used to be the northbound lanes are now reconfigured to provide 2 northbound and 2 southbound lanes -- speed limits are slowed considerably to 45 mph for a 4-mile stretch , but traffic IS flowing. (FDOT estimates 80,000-100,000 people per day travel through that section of highway.)

US301 is now open both directions, although there will be slowdowns and possible detours due to the construction of the new overpass.

If you're going to shop at Prime Outlets, you can exit onto Hwy301, but there is no re-entry back onto I-75.

Bradenton, Florida
Destination Expert
for Bradenton, Anna Maria Island
posts: 5,429
reviews: 29
10. Re: I-75 Southbound closed at Hwy 301 at Bradenton!

Okay. Went thru downtown today, no problem. The route of the detour is still marked, but no one is using it. Also passed over the interstate, and traffic was moving well just north of the bad intersection. Looks like the worst of it is over.