After so many weeks, the ramp from Interstate 275 southbound to Interstate 375 (Exit 23A) is back!
While on my way to a Devil Rays game at Tropicana Field I read the electronic overhead sign just before 54 Av N (Exit 26) stating that the ramp onto Interstate 375 is still closed. Then, as I approach 22 Av N (Exit 24) I notice the construction workers changing the portable variable message sign letting motorists know that the ramp to Interstate 375 has reopened!
Interstate 375 is back!!!
So, I checked it out as it was on my way to The Trop. The contractor who did the emergency repair did an excellent job of restoring the ramp to a condition that is better than before. I got to admit it, I got to give credit to the Florida DOT for their efforts in getting a very important piece of Interstate 275 repaired and reopened to traffic in the shortest time possible.
After all, lots of motorists use the ramp from Interstate 275 southbound to Interstate 375 for plenty of reasons and it sees plenty of use in the mornings during the morning commute. For the past few weeks those commuters that have used Interstate 375 to get to where they need to go downtown were somewhat inconvenienced by having to take a detour out of the way by using Interstate 175, Interstate 375's partner immediately to the south.
From what I understand, I believe the Florida DOT may be upgrading signage in the area to reflect the fact that the exit ramp is 50 mph and the ramp is a left exit. If and when the signage upgrade takes place, motorists should be advised as far as 38 Av N (Exit 25) that a left exit is coming up giving some ample opportunity for motorists to change lanes if needed to avoid the exit ramp if desired. Presently there is very inadequate warning of the left exit and reduced speed other than a small posted Exit 50 mph sign mounted on the left side as you approach Interstate 375. The same signage upgrade should also be done for Interstate 375's partner in downtown St. Petersburg, Interstate 175 as it also features a left exit and inadequate speed reduction warning signage.
Moreover, as I mentioned in my previous post when Interstate 275 at Interstate 375 and 5 Av N was constructed in 1977, the ramp to both roads should have been done as a right exit like most of the other exits on Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg. Had it been constructed this way perhaps tragedies such as the tanker truck collision on Interstate 375 may have been avoided.