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Wesley Chapel, FL -- As we enter into the busy holiday season, traffic impacts increase. The extra traffic volume can be particularly frustrating for drivers near shopping destinations and within construction zones.

The construction area for the SR 56 Diverging Diamond Interchange project at I-75 is especially impacted by seasonal traffic. With major shopping and dining venues all along the SR 56 corridor, the increase in traffic can result in additional delays and driver impatience. To help reduce impacts, the Florida Department of Transportation offers these tips for driving in the SR 56 area in the vicinity of I-75 during the holiday period from Thanksgiving through the New Year's Day:

  • Use alternate routes: If possible, consider changing your route to avoid the highest congested areas. Examples:
    • Traffic delays on the southbound I-75 Exit 275 ramp to SR 56: During the current phase of construction, traffic delays on this ramp have been extensive at times. Consider exiting southbound I-75 at Exit 279 and use Wesley Chapel Boulevard/CR 54 to reach the SR 56 area west of I-75 or Bruce B. Downs Boulevard to reach the SR 56 area east of I-75.
    • Use other roads to travel around the highly congested area of SR 56 at I-75 or near shopping malls, especially if your destination is not on that corridor.
       
  • Look for alternate access points to shopping/dining destinations:
    • Many major shopping areas have multiple access points to/from parking areas. Consider using these entrances/exits, particularly if they access a less-congested roadway.
       
  • Shop or commute during off-peak hours:
    • For example, the SR 56 area at I-75 has the most congestion between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays. Altering your schedule to avoid the area during those hours can decrease your stress and help reduce traffic impacts along the corridor for others who may have no choice but to drive during that period.
    • When possible, choose to avoid driving anywhere during peak commuting hours.

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