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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- A vehicle overturned and exploded on U.S. 301 after falling from the Interstate 75 overpass in Manatee County.

All lanes of I-75 and U.S. 301 have been closed.

According to Capt. Larry Leinhauser of the Manatee County Department of Public Safety, witnesses said a tanker truck lost control and fell off of the bridge where I-75 crosses over U.S. 301.

Leinhauser said the flames were burning upward from U.S. 301 to I-75. Authorities are concerned about the structural integrity of the bridge.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, northbound traffic is being diverted off the interstate at State Road 64 and southbound at Moccasin Wallow Road. All traffic is requested to stay away from the area at this time.

The driver of the truck was seriously burned. The driver was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital and is in critical condition.

A similar event took place in March 2007 when a tanker exploded on the Interstate 375 overpass in St. Petersburg.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/...anker+explosion+has+closed+I-75+near+U.S.+301
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Other tanker messes...

2001 - Tanker overturns on the Independence Parkway exit on the Veterans Expressway in Tampa, near TIA. The southbound lanes of the Veterans Exwy were closed for a month and a half as the overpass was rebuilt.

2007 - Tanker overturns on the flyover ramp from I-275 south to I-375 in downtown St. Pete, closing the major downtown access point for about a month. Several weeks later, another incident occurred in Oakland, California, at the notorious MacArthur Maze Interchange, closing two ramps for several weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I heard that NB I-75 was reopened last night, but SB will remain closed for quite sometime.

Did anyone drive US41/301 today? I saw from the traffic cameras that both roads, and SR64 were clogged with traffic.

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Northbound lanes of I-75 opened after tanker accident
Thursday, June 5, 2008

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- The northbound lanes of Interstate 75 have been opened at the scene of Wednesday's tanker explosion the U.S. Highway 301 overpass.


The southbound lanes of Interstate 75 and both lanes of Hwy. 301 remain closed however.

Florida Department of Transportation officials said the roadway must be further examined today. Officials said they hoped to have more traffic flowing by later today.

Also, full repairs of the area damaged by the accident and resulting fire could take seven to ten days. Authorities also said it could be a full month before the roadway is completely back to normal.

According to Capt. Larry Leinhauser of the Manatee County Department of Public Safety, witnesses said a tanker truck lost control and fell off of the bridge where I-75 crosses over U.S. 301.

Leinhauser said the flames were burning upward from U.S. 301 to I-75. Authorities are concerned about the structural integrity of the bridge.

Yesterday, northbound traffic was being diverted off the interstate at State Road 64 and southbound at Moccasin Wallow Road.

The driver of the truck was seriously burned. The driver was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital and remains in critical condition.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/...nd+lanes+of+I-75+opened+after+tanker+accident
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stories from the Bradenton Herald...

The big question mark: Prime Outlets
By TIFFANY ST. MARTIN and MAURA POSSLEY
Herald Staff Writers


ELLENTON --Merchants at the giant Prime Outlets Ellenton mall said with the Interstate 75 overpass at U.S. 301 damaged and closed, they expect business will be affected.

The mall sits less than one-quarter mile from the accident scene.

So close that as Susan Wright was coming to work at Jones New York, she saw the tanker on fire.

"I could feel the heat right through the car door and window. It was scary. I've never seen such an intense fire," she said.

Employees were concerned about the fate of those involved in the accident, but they also wondered what would business be like today.

Keith Cadrette with Zale's Jewelry said the lack of north-south access was "absolutely affecting business. People can't get here. It's not normally this slow."

Korey Hunt, who works at the Perry Ellis clothing store, said customers were asking for alternate routes to return home.

Nancy Mills, also of Perry Ellis, said a lot of business comes from tourists. Those are customers who won't be able to easily navigate the back roads to get to to the mall.

Naomi Szajnowski of the Sag Harbor store said she would imagine business would be slow today and was unsure how she would get home to Palmetto.

Bob Boerner, store sales manager for The Clarks Companies, said there was hardly anyone in the Bostonian Shoe Store after the accident. A number of customers in the store at the time of the accident were trapped at the mall by the snarled traffic outside, he said.

http://www.bradenton.com/local/story/655023.html
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Police: Palmetto roads in gridlock

By CARL MARIO NUDI
[email protected]

PALMETTO - Police say traffic in the city has come to a standstill due to vehicles coming off damaged Interstate 75. Drivers report the highways from Interstate 275 south are backed up for 10 miles. Driving those 10 miles was taking two to three hours.

Palmetto Police Lt. Scott Tyler described the situation as gridlock through the heart of the city.

Along the affected routes, people are out of their cars, businesses are trying to take advantage, and everyone is talking.

The serious situation is as a result of vehicles being diverted off southbound Interstate 75, which is closed in Ellenton.

"This is definitely adversely affected our commuters, and our city," Tyler said.

Traffic on the primary roads of Eighth Avenue West/Business 41, and 10th and 17th streets was barely moving. The situation - almost 20 hours after a tanker truck accident on I-75 at U.S. 301 - spilled over into Bradenton. But traffic there on State Road 64/Manatee Avenue south of the Manatee River, and the intersection of First Street/U.S. 41 and State Road 64/Manatee Avenue appeared to be opening up as commute traffic subsided.

But that was not the case in Palmetto and north of there to I-275.

Palmetto police officers manually directed traffic at intersections on Eighth Avenue West where traffic was overflowing. Tyler said, for the most part, drivers were keeping their cool.

"For now we have not had any road-rage incidents, and we are happy to say drivers are being patient," he said.

Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow said deputies are assisting where they can in Palmetto and Bradenton. The traffic problems caused by the tanker wreck may affect transports from the jail in far north county to the courthouse in Bradenton today, he said.

Manatee County School District spokeswoman Margi Nanney said bus routes were driven as usual on the last day of school. Bus drivers reported some delays, but for the most part things have been running fairly smoothly, she said.

Another North River route adversely affected was U.S. 301 through Ellenton and Palmetto.

Marie Hatch of Ellenton thought she had left plenty of time to drive her daughter from her home in Ellenton to school in Bradenton.

"I got up extra early to beat the traffic but still was stuck," Hatch said while shopping at Uppy's BP station on U.S. 41 and 73rd Street West near Rubonia. Out the windows, the backup on 41 southbound was as far as she could see north and south.

Asked her advice for anyone driving to Bradenton, she said, "If you have to go to town, try to go around."

Rynodo Perry, the driver of Pepsi truck, said getting his deliveries made in situations like this, it paid to be a local. He lives in Palmetto.

"I've got to try to weave in and out of traffic, and take the back roads. Good thing I live here and know the area," he said.

Josh Givens sounded as if he was resigned to a frustrating day even though he got up early at 4:30 a.m.

"I don't know if I'll be able to make my deliveries today," said Givens, a driver for Bon a Petit Foods, who was stuck at the Uppy's BP.

The problems built through the morning as commute traffic increased.

At the site of the tanker-truck accident, engineers inspected the I-75 overpass this morning. The three southbound lanes could be closed for weeks or months.

Drivers on southbound I-75 from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties were being directed off the super highway onto four-lane U.S. 19, U.S. 41 and U.S. 301 - then to Manatee Avenue/State Road 64 - and back to the interstate south of the affected I-75 interchange.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Doug Dotson said FHP was coordinating efforts to move traffic with law officers from the cities of Palmetto and Bradenton.

"Troopers ran through the detour last night and it took between an hour and an hour and a half with both north and southbound lanes closed," Dotson said.

He referred to both directions of I-75 being closed.

But at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, the northbound lanes of I-75 were reopened following the tanker accident.

http://www.bradenton.com/local/story/655386.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
FDOT: six weeks to repair damaged Manatee County bridge
Thursday, June 5, 2008

MANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9)-- Interstate 75's northbound lanes near U.S. Hwy 301 were reopened early Thursday morning after a gas tanker accident, but southbound detours will last at least through the weekend.

A tanker truck lost control Wednesday afternoon and fell off the bridge where I-75 crosses over U.S. 301. About 4,000 gallons of unleaded gas and 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel were on the truck.

The Florida Highway Patrol said southbound travelers should allow an extra 1 1/2 to 2 hours to get through the area.

The FHP said it would be about two days to get traffic moving in a timely manner again through the use of crossovers in the medium. FDOT said they hope to complete the crossovers before rush hour Monday morning.

Damaged portions of the bridge will be removed and replaced, and those repairs will take up to six weeks.

FDOT stressed that the timetable for repairs is uncertain.

The driver of the truck, 54-year-old Raymond Neumann of Brooksville, was seriously burned. He was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital and remains in critical condition.

High school graduations to go on
The Manatee County school district said high school graduations will go on despite the accident making it difficult to get to the civic center. The district issued this statement:


"Due to the accident 6/4/08 that necessitated the closure of I-75 Southbound x U.S. 301, please allow up to 2 hours extra commute time to get to and from the Manatee Civic Center depending on your location. We also encourage carpooling and appreciate your patience."

High School Graduation Information
Thursday, 7 p.m. Palmetto High School
Friday, 7 p.m. Lakewood Ranch High School
Saturday, 9 a.m. Southeast High School
Saturday, 12 noon Bayshore High School
Saturday, 4 p.m. Braden River High School
Saturday, 8 p.m. Manatee High School

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/...weeks+to+repair+damaged+Manatee+County+bridge
 

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Haha. Thanks for the updates. Probably the people affected by it are still stuck in traffic! Seriously though, I don't have much of an opinion on it other than it really sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It sure does. Hopefully, when my stepmom returns from Europe (she has a business in Sarasota), all the traffic on 75 should be back due to the crossovers. No more of this junk on 41 and 301.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:eek:hno:
The tanker driver has passed away...

Driver in tanker explosion dies
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Post a comment | E-mail this story | Print

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TAMPA (Bay News 9) -- The driver of a tanker truck that exploded earlier this week in Manatee County has died, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Raymond Neumann, 54, of Brooksville, died from severe burns and injuries he suffered after the tanker truck he was driving fell from the Interstate 75 overpass onto U.S. 301.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2008/6/7/355142.html?title=Driver+in+tanker+explosion+dies
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Median Paves Way For Interstate 75 Traffic Relief

By NEIL JOHNSON

The Tampa Tribune

Published: June 9, 2008

Updated:

Related Links

* Live Traffic Updates
* Scene photos
* Through The Smoke
* Traffic Talk

Traffic congestion at Interstate 75 and U.S. 301 in Manatee County should be alleviated during today's morning rush hour after workers paved parts of the highway median Sunday.

The new traffic pattern bypasses the southbound bridge damaged Wednesday after a tanker plunged off the overpass and exploded. The paved median allows drivers to cross the median and use two lanes of the existing northbound bridge.

That will leave two lanes for drivers heading north, said Cindy Clemmons-Adente, a Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The median was paved about 6:15 p.m. Sunday.

On Sunday morning, workers opened one lane of U.S. 301 in each direction at I-75.

Opening U.S. 301 should help the traffic problems somewhat, the DOT spokeswoman said.

One median crossover will be north of U.S. 301 and one south of the Manatee River.

Crews are still removing debris and contaminated soil. Flames from the exploding tanker created so much heat that the southbound bridge will have to be replaced.

The DOT hired Zep Construction of Fort Myers for the job at a cost of $1.7 million. The work is expected to take six weeks.

Clemmons-Adente said opening part of U.S. 301 and getting the crossovers will help, but there still will be delays.

DOT officials were concerned the weather would delay construction of the median crossovers, but workers managed to complete it on time.

Raymond A. Neumann, the driver of the tanker, died Saturday afternoon at Tampa General Hospital, a family member said.

Reporter Ray Reyes contributed to this report. Reporter Neil Johnson can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 259-7731.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jun/09/me-median-paves-way-for-i-75-traffic-relief/
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
U.S. 301 reopened to traffic
Saturday, June 14, 2008

MANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- Good news for commuters in Manatee County: U.S. 301 re-opened Saturday morning.

The northbound (eastbound) lane of U.S. 301 was shut down yesterday so crews could install horizontal bridge beams.

Officials say the reconstruction of the overpass on I-75 is going well. They said they expect the entire project to take at least five more weeks to finish.

There will be more closures in the area as U.S. 301 southbound (westbound) will be shut down Saturday night at 7 p.m. And will reopen at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. It will be shut down again at 5 p.m. that evening, but will be reopened again by 6 a.m. Monday morning.

The overpass had to be demolished after a tanker truck fell off and exploded. The driver of the tanker had been trying to avoid a swerving pick-up truck, and he ended up falling off the overpass.

The driver, Raymond Neumann, was severely burned in the accident and later died as a result of his injuries. A memorial service is being held for him on Saturday in Hernando County.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2008/6/14/356964.html?title=U.S.+301+reopened+to+traffic
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Damaged Interstate 75 Lanes At Ellenton To Reopen Monday

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

The Tampa Tribune

Published: June 19, 2008

ELLENTON - Southbound Interstate 75 lanes over U.S. 301 should open Monday instead of July 20, the state said Wednesday. Lane markings and other finishing work should be completed by July.

A combination of good weather, fast action by construction crews and a $300,000 early-completion bonus offered by the state sped the project along and on Wednesday led the Florida Department of Transportation to revise its schedule for completion of the project.

The $1.7 million project was originally planned to take six weeks to complete, but now looks like it will be finished in about three weeks.

"Our priority as an agency is to have the roadways working as they should," DOT spokeswoman Cindy Clemmons-Adente said.

The interstate bridge over U.S. 301 in Ellenton became unstable June 4 after a tanker fell from it and exploded in a fireball on the road below.

Northbound I-75 could be re-sorted to three lanes and U.S. 301 could have two northbound and southbound lanes open by the middle of next week, the state said. The entrance ramp for southbound I-75 at U.S. 301 is on track to open Wednesday.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jun/19/me-damaged-i-75-lanes-to-reopen-monday/
 

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Sometimes it's great to be done before schedule, but I just don't like it when it comes to rebuilding, makes me feel that it's unsafe since it took shorter than expected.
 

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The southbound lanes reopened today, thank god since I'll be heading home at the end of the weekend from Tallahassee :banana:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
^^
Yes they have...all lanes are open except for one northbound lane. I think the on ramp is still closed until this weekend.

Traffic flowing on southbound lanes of I-75 overpass
Saturday, June 21, 2008

MANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- All southbound lanes of I-75 at Highway 301 have opened in Manatee County.

FDOT expects to have the northbound lanes,which traffic in both directions had been using, returned to the normal configuration in time for the Monday morning rush hour. The southbound on ramp from U.S. 301 should be open by Tuesday night.

Crews have been rebuilding the southbound lanes of I-75 and repairing the pavement on U.S. Highway 301 after a tanker truck fell off of the overpass and exploded on June 4 after trying to avoid hitting a pickup truck that almost hit the tanker.

Repairs on the overpass were expected to take six weeks but construction crews cut that time in half.

The construction company will receive a $300,000 bonus if the work is finished by Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

The driver of the pickup that almost hit the tanker, Fernando Aguilera-Chavez, 28, of Bradenton, has been charged with careless driving, according to FHP.

The tanker driver, Raymond Neumann, 54, of Brooksville, died from his injuries.

FDOT expects the contract will exceed the $1.7 million estimated construction cost.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/...+flowing+on+southbound+lanes+of+I-75+overpass
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
FDOT: All lanes of U.S. 301 may open Tuesday
Sunday, June 22, 2008

MANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- Progress on the repairs to the Interstate 75 overpass at U.S. 301 has come along quickly, which will provide a better commute for drivers Monday morning.

And businesses in the area are looking forward to the continued return of customers.

Lyndsy Sedillo with Big Dog Sportswear in Ellenton said they've taken a big hit because of the detours around the construction.

"Over the past couple of weeks our business has been extremely, extremely slow," Sedillo said.

The bridge on I-75 was badly damaged and was removed following a June 4 accident when a tractor-trailer fell off I-75 and exploded after landing on U.S. 301.

"Right now tourists are coming for the summer," Sedillo said. "They can't make it out here cause they're either too scared or they don't know how to get back on the interstate."

On Friday some lanes of I-75 were back in business, which Sedillo said is helping.

"We've progressively gotten more traffic and a lot better sales and stuff like that," Sedillo said.

But some businesses in the area are still not completely satisfied. However, that should change once the barricades along U.S. 301 are gone, which FDOT said could happen Tuesday.

FDOT said that if the weather permits, all north and southbound lanes of U.S. 301 should be open Tuesday. FDOT originally planned to open the southbound ramp onto I-75 on Tuesday as well, but they were able to open it Sunday afternoon. FDOT also announced Sunday afternoon that the northbound lanes of I-75 have been restored to their original configuration.

Sedillo said the opening of the lanes and ramp should help because customers aren't sold on all the detours.

"It's really hard to get here and get home, and some people just don't want to mess with it," Sedillo said.

FDOT initially thought the work on I-75 would last six weeks, but it's only taken about three weeks. Crews used a special concrete mixture to speed up the process.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/...=FDOT:+All+lanes+of+U.S.+301+may+open+Tuesday
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The entire interchange is returning back to normal! :banana:

I-75 lanes back in business
Monday, June 23, 2008

MANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- The northbound lanes of the Interstate 75 overpass at U.S. 301 have reopened in time for Monday morning's commute.

The Florida Department of Transportation announced the opening of the lanes around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. And by Sunday night, the U.S. 301 on ramp was opened as well.

The bridge on I-75 was badly damaged and was removed following a June 4 accident when a tractor-trailer fell off I-75 and exploded after landing on U.S. 301.

FDOT said that if the weather permits, all north and southbound lanes of U.S. 301 should be open Tuesday. FDOT originally planned to open the southbound ramp onto I-75 on Tuesday as well but was able to open it early.

FDOT initially thought the work on I-75 would last six weeks, but it's only taken about three weeks. Crews used a special concrete mixture to speed up the process.

The total cost of the project: $4 million.

About $1.1 million of that went to destroyed the damaged overpass, removing the debris and constructing the detour.

Another $1.7 million plus a $300,000 bonus went towards the rebuilding of the overpass. The bonus was for the early completion of the project.

Also, $700,000 was spent on the 18 bridge beams used in the overpass reconstruction.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2008/6/23/359162.html?title=I-75+lanes+back+in+business
 
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