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Days are numbered for a familiar sight at the intersection of U.S. Highway 441 and Interstate 75. The KFC restaurant will be demolished to make room for a southbound ramp.

ALACHUA – The KFC in Alachua has flown the coop to make room for some changes to Interstate 75.

The Florida Department of Transportation paid $1,754,900 for the land where the KFC restaurant at 16011 NE Martin Luther King Drive is in order to build a new on ramp for I-75.

"It's all part of a long-term plan we have to make improvements to I-75," said Gina Busscher, public information director for FDOT District Two. "This is just one aspect of the master plan."

Currently, the southbound ramp is on the north side of the road, forcing people to navigate a huge turn, and then accelerate into the interstate, Busscher said. This has caused congestion issues and accidents. It makes little sense for drivers to turn left in order to go right, she added.

The new southbound ramp is on the south side of the road, fitting in with people's expectations, she said. It is expected to cost around $8 million. In addition to the ramp, the state is building a parking lot nearby where people can meet a friend or coworker, leave a vehicle behind, and carpool.

The FDOT is still in the paperwork phase of the project, Busscher said. Southland Construction, out of Apopka, near Orlando, is the contractor. Bowyer-Singleton, out of Orlando, is the design team. The construction and design were combined into a single contract.

The FDOT expects work to start on the renovations sometime in August, and the project could be completed as early as the beginning of 2015.

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