I-75 to remain open as Santa Fe River flood threat dissipates

Rising waters could force stretch of I-75 to close

However, if the river were to rise to an unsafe level, the bridge would become impassable both northbound and southbound, and would be closed immediately, FDOT said.

Santa Fe College President, Jackson Sasser, shared with faculty/staff and students that the Florida Department of Transportation expects the Santa Fe River to crest late Wednesday evening, September 13.

The closure would impact thousands of evacuees who are now returning home to central and south Florida following Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Department of Transportation is closely monitoring water levels near a small bridge over I-75 that they say could flood and close the roadway.

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According to the USGS, the Sante Fe River at O'Leno State Park - less than a mile to the west of I-75 - measured at 56.61 feet as of 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The flooding would also cause closures and extensive rerouting of traffic on US 27, USA 41, S.R. 47 and possibly US 121 as the routes would be considered impassable. The river level is now safe at 55 feet. By early evening, the heavy traffic had filtered down to the Bradenton area, too.

If the interstate was closed, it would force people to detour along I-10 either towards Tallahassee or Jacksonville in order to get back into Florida. Congestion was reported between Atlanta and Macon.

On Wednesday, FDOT and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced that due to unprecedented flooding of the Santa Fe River, there was a potential for I-75 to close for motorist safety.

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