Project expected to get underway no later than February 2018
Construction of the City of Sarasota’s next two roundabouts — at the 10th and 14th street intersections of U.S. 41 — is set to begin no later than February 2018, staff has confirmed with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
In a June 12 email to City Manager Tom Barwin, Assistant City Engineer Daniel Ohrenstein wrote that he also had confirmed that the timeline for the project is two years. The advertisement for bids was to be posted by June 15, Ohrenstein added.
Other facts of the plan are as follows, he continued:
- Each roundabout will have two lanes, unlike those that already have been built in downtown Sarasota. The project website says a 10-foot-wide “shared use path” will be constructed on the western side of the roundabouts, while a 6-foot-wide sidewalk will be on the eastern side of them.
- FDOT is paying for construction to its standards and level of service, while the city is contributing funds for upgraded landscaping and lighting, as well as for additional utility work.
The estimated cost for the improvements is $8.2 million, according to FDOT; the right of way acquisition expense was put at $13.2 million.
Ohrenstein also provided background on the project, noting that roundabouts first were suggested by New Urbanism advocate Andres Duany in 2002; they were seen as a way to improve pedestrian connectivity between downtown Sarasota and the bayfront. When accidents occur within roundabouts, Ohrenstein pointed out, far fewer deaths and personal injuries result, because traffic is moving at a slower speed.
“City staff is exploring training options for residents while the larger roundabouts are under construction,” he noted.
In alignment with established city policy, he added, the plan also calls for a public art sculpture to be placed in the center of each roundabout.