County celebrates completion of Bee Ridge Road improvements

The 2.6-mile segment includes a four-lane stretch and roundabouts

Photo courtesy Sarasota County
Photo courtesy Sarasota County

On Nov. 28, Sarasota County commissioners and staff celebrated the completion of improvements to a 2.6-mile segment of Bee Ridge Road between Mauna Loa Boulevard and Iona Road, east of Interstate 75.

Work on the $20-million project, which began in July 2014, included reconstruction of the two-lane rural roadway segment from Mauna Loa Boulevard to Bent Tree Boulevard — a distance of 1.6 miles — into a four-lane divided urban roadway with a landscaped median, a 10-foot sidewalk, bicycle lanes, three roundabouts, landscaping with reclaimed irrigation and LED street lighting, a county news release pointed out.

The segment from Bent Tree Boulevard to Iona Road, a distance of about a mile, has been milled and resurfaced with the addition of bike lanes, a 10-foot sidewalk, LED lighting and reconstruction of the Iona Road/Bee Ridge Extension intersection as a one-lane roundabout, the release adds.

“Our board made a major commitment to fund this improvement project, understanding it was a major need for our community,” said commission Chair Alan Maio in the release. “It’s exciting to see it become a reality.”

Planning for the Bee Ridge Road improvements began years ago, but the project was put on hold because of the Great Recession, the release notes.

“It took the continuing support of our County Commission, hard work by many county employees and the project team, and the participation and the support of the community to get to this point,” said County Administrator Tom Harmer in the release.

The grand opening celebration was held at Colonial Oaks Baptist Church.