The northbound Interstate 75 ramp is a death trap

Published: Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 7, 2005 at 10:55 p.m.
Alert to northbound Interstate 75 drivers: At least a dozen vehicles have left the roadway at exit 382 coming from the south onto Gainesville's Williston Road in the last few years.
The exit ramp is poorly banked, and currently two of the usual three signs have been taken out - again. The guardrail that supposedly prevents vehicles from going over the steep embankment is hit at least a couple of times a month.
I also noted on Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. that traffic from the stoplight at the ramp-Williston Road intersection was backed up again on the interstate all the way past the ramp turnoff. At least five large trees at the bottom of the steep ramp embankment have one-foot (or larger) square scars from vehicles crashing into them. Two people died there over the holidays this year.
Weekly, I note new dark skid tracks from those who have somehow avoided an accident, missed the turn and careened on down the interstate. Last year I notified the Department of Transportation that this northbound ramp is especially dangerous and they immediately added two signs (one of which is now missing) saying "Limit 25 mph." I notified them two months ago that this was not enough, but they should have already known. The guardrail has been repaired at least three times since and the weekly skid tracks continue.
Surprisingly, the ramp from the north for southbound traffic was reconstructed last year - a ramp on which I have never noted an accident. I suggest DOT post special barrier markers on the interstate on the northbound approach and on the ramp entrance itself until that ramp is also reconstructed.
Last month's tragic accident could probably have been avoided. That ramp is not just another accident waiting to happen, it is a death trap.
Michael Bedinger, Gainesville

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