Starting in July, virtually every interstate exit in Florida will change from consecutive numbers to numbers corresponding to the nearest mile-marker. The state Department of Transportation will begin changes in July, continuing until June 2005. It will be done in four stages.
The mile markers begin on the south end of the interstates.
The new system will coincide with the same numbering system used on interstates almost everywhere else in the country.
Charles Brantley, president of the Florida Trucking Association, says, "Most of us think mile posts are better than exit numbers we can never remember anyway. People will get used to it."
To prevent confusion, the signs with the old and the new numbers will stay up for two years.
It will take a while for road atlases to catch up, as well. Officials with Rand McNally say there is space for only one number in their atlas, so the new edition coming out this fall won't have the new numbers because the process of changing the signs won't be far enough along.
"Next spring's edition will have the new numbers for the interstates that have been done," said Joel Minster, vice president of geographic service for Rand McNally. City maps, however, will be reissued later this year and will reflect both the old numbers and the new.