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Updated: 12/19/2013 02:18:01PM

I-75 southbound lane to close again tonight

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NORTH PORT -- As Florida Department of Transportation officials continue to make repairs to the Ponce de Leon Boulevard bridge, drivers can expect to be rerouted from the southbound lane of Interstate 75 at certain times during the process.

Currently, the FDOT will be closing the southbound lane between River Road and Sumter Boulevard from 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, December 19) to 7 a.m. on Friday, December 20. During that timeframe, workers will be doing some demolition work in anticipation of installing a new beam to the bridge’s structure. There may be other lane closures over the next few days as workers fix the bridge. The Ponce de Leon bridge remains closed to local traffic. It is uncertain when it will reopen. Emergency officials do not intend to open the bridge until it is sound. At about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a driver of a dump truck that was being used as part of a widening project on I-75 hit the Ponce de Leon Boulevard bridge from underneath, damaging the structure. There were no reported injuries. The accident closed the southbound lane of I-75 between River Road and Sumter Boulevard for 13 hours as officials assessed the damage and made temporary repairs. The southbound lanes were reopened on Wednesday at about 4 p.m., before rush-hour traffic. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, of the seven beams that are part of the bridge’s structure, one of the beams needs to be replaced. Updates on this project will be provided on the City of North Port’s website at, as well as through local media outlets.

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