The need for an interchange at I-75 and NW 49th/35th Street can be summarized into four (4) different discussion areas:
1) Economic Viability and Job Creation: The proposed interchange is needed to support the economic viability of the Ocala-Marion County Commerce Park (OMCCP) which is intended to serve as an economic engine for job creation in the region and is envisioned as a strategic central inland hub for freight related traffic.
2) Improve Interstate and Regional Mobility: The proposed interchange is needed to improve interstate and regional mobility by providing a direct, more efficient, improved access to I-75 in order to serve interstate and regional travel. In particular, the interstate is needed to serve the “long haul” trips associated with the OMCCP.
3) Address Locally Supported Long Term Regional Needs: The proposed project is needed to provide important access to I-75 as part of a locally supported long range vision to develop an east-west corridor parallel to US 27 and SR 326. In addition, the I-75 and NW 49th/35th Street interchange is currently listed as the number one (1) priority project on the Ocala/Marion Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Priority Projects List and the PD&E Study for the project is currently planned and programmed in the FDOT FY 2015-2020 Work Program.
4) Accommodate Future Traffic Growth: The proposed interchange is needed to accommodate projected future year traffic volumes, including higher truck volumes, which would otherwise degrade the operations at the adjacent interchanges at I-75 and US 27 and at I-75 and SR 326, in the future analysis years.