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News Story
Updated: 05/15/2018 04:02:17PM

I-75: The ‘conveyor belt’ of our economy

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SUN FILE PHOTO
In the 1950s, Charlotte and Sarasota County were left off designs for the nation's massive interstate system. But 50 years ago, the missing link to the region was added to plans. Now, Charlotte County is on the tail-end of another piece of I-75 history. A $28.7 million expansion project from Jones Loop Road to U.S. 17 is due for completion early next year. Once completed, the highway will be a minimum of six lanes through the entire state.

Charlotte and Sarasota counties were left off the plans for a nationwide interstate system in the 1950s. Interstate 75 used to end in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By BILL JONES

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For years in Southwest Florida, it was known as the missing link.

Thanks to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1956 highway act, Interstate 75 would meander 1,495 miles from Lake Superior and suddenly halt in Tampa Bay.

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