Construction of Coon Key Multi-Use Recreational Trail on south side of John Ringling Boulevard scheduled to get underway on Feb. 4

Workers told to close just one lane of traffic, starting early in the morning, and then have all lanes reopened by lunchtime

Prep work has been completed for construction of the Coon Key MURT to begin on Feb. 4. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

Construction should be getting underway this week on the City of Sarasota’s 10-foot-wide Coon Key Multi-Use Recreational Trail (MURT) on the south side of John Ringling Boulevard, City Manager Tom Barwin announced in his Jan. 31 newsletter.

“This will require concrete trucks to be on site for multiple concrete pours and necessitate short-term closures of the outside eastbound lane (leaving St. Armands Key),” Barwin pointed out.

“To minimize possible traffic issues, we have directed the contractor to work early in the morning (starting at approximately 7 a.m.) and reopen all lanes by lunchtime, well before peak travel time,” he added in the newsletter.

This work was scheduled to begin Tuesday, Feb. 4, and wrap up in about 10 days, “weather permitting,” Barwin noted. City staff anticipated that the crew would begin work on South Washington Drive and move east toward Plymouth Harbor, he continued.

“We understand current traffic concerns with the barrier islands,” Barwin pointed out. That is the reason the contractor will be allowed to close only one lane early in the morning for a few hours, he stressed. City staff will be monitoring the work, he continued, “to ensure adherence to this requirement.”

“When the project wraps up in the summer,” Barwin noted, “pedestrians and bicyclists will have a significantly improved option to safely connect from downtown to the barrier islands and ultimately the Legacy Trail. Safer walking and biking options will help reduce vehicular traffic in the future.”

After the MURT has been completed, Barwin continued, the area will be landscaped with Florida-friendly plants, including more than 240 new trees of various native species.

“In the meantime,” he wrote, “we appreciate everyone’s patience.”