Weather permitting, city manager says, FDOT hopes to complete the work in a few weeks
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has begun construction of the planned “slip lane” at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road, Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin pointed out in his Aug. 4 newsletter.
The new right-turn lane from northbound U.S. 41 to eastbound Fruitville Road will “improve traffic flow by allowing drivers to turn at [the] intersection without entering the intersection,” Barwin explained. “FDOT believes this will help reduce the traffic stacking we experience on U.S. 41 during peak season hours,” Barwin added.
“Weather permitting, FDOT hopes to have it open in the next few weeks,” he wrote.
In October 2015, the City Commission voted unanimously to approve the shorter turn lane, which will allow for a wider median north of Palm Avenue, City Engineer Alexandrea DavisShaw explained at the time.
Another option FDOT offered the board called for three full lanes of northbound traffic on U.S. 41between Gulfstream Avenue and Fruitville Road.
Because of concern about pedestrian safety, the commissioners agreed that the slip lane would be sufficient. “I don’t think we want three lanes of traffic just rushing through there,” Commissioner Liz Alpert said at the time. “I don’t think we want to make it difficult for people to cross that road.”