At least two public meetings to be conducted about the undertaking, as design work proceeds
On a unanimous vote this week, the Sarasota County Commission awarded a $1,551,331 contract with the Kimley-Horn consulting firm of Sarasota for the design of a widened Proctor Road between McIntosh Road and Honore Avenue.
As Chair Alan Maio noted after the Nov. 16 vote, that segment of Proctor is what commissioners and staff have referred to as a “gap road,” meaning that it remained two lanes instead of having been widened to four lanes in the past to complement the segments on either side of the section between McIntosh and Honore.
The segment of Proctor between McIntosh and Honore “does not meet current County standards,” a county staff memo in the Nov. 16 agenda packet said. Its reconstruction and widening to four lanes “will improve [traffic] capacity,” the memo added.
The distance of the segment to be improved is approximately 1 mile, the memo continues. The project will include bicycle lanes, sidewalks on both sides, roadway lighting and landscaping, and stormwater facilities and drainage infrastructure, the memo notes.
Additionally, the contract award to Kimley-Horn calls for the firm’s employees to design the reconstruction of the 2-lane Bliss Road from Proctor Road to Wilkinson Road, the county staff memo pointed out. The design contract said the length of that portion of Bliss Road is 0.52 miles.
Sidewalks also will be constructed on both Elizabeth Avenue and Victoria Avenue, from Proctor Road to Ashton Elementary School, the staff memo said. The length of that affected area is 0.51 miles, the memo added.
The design work is expected to commence in December, with completion anticipated in September 2024, the memo said. Updates on the undertaking will be provided on the county webpages in the section of the website titled Projects In My Neighborhood, the memo noted.
An interactive map showing project locations is found here.
Funding for the design contract will come out of revenue from North County Mobility Fees and Central County Road Impact Fees, the staff memo explained.
The contract indicates that county staff expects the construction to begin 806 days after Kimley-Horn receives the county purchase order to start the design process.
“Residents and stakeholders within the immediate project area” will be notified by postcard about the initial survey and design phase, the staff memo continued. The postcards will contain details about the overall initiative and the schedule, the memo noted.
Further, the memo said, two public meetings will be scheduled, so residents can view the plans for the road, speak with staff about the undertaking and offer any comments. The first will be held near the time when Kimley-Horn has completed 30% of the design; the second, close to the 60% design mark.
The contract calls for Kimley-Horn to prepare at least two renderings for use in those meetings.
Moreover, the contract said that Kimley-Horn must design “a safe and effective Traffic Control Plan to move vehicular and pedestrian traffic during all phases” of the subsequent construction project. The company also has been directed to conduct a survey to identify any Grand Trees, “as defined by the Sarasota County Tree Ordinance,” within the project area, and it must work with the applicable permitting agencies “to establish the boundaries of existing wetlands within the Project limits.”
The staff memo does point out that, after staff advertised a Request for Professional Services for the design initiative — on May 21, 2020 — 15,669 companies were notified, and staff sent “outreach email” to 33 vendors.
Only three firms ended up submitting proposals, the memo added. Along with Kimley-Horn, they were Stantec Consulting Services of Sarasota and the American Consulting Engineers of FL LLC of Port Charlotte, county Procurement Department documents show.
Representatives of the county’s Capital Projects Department and the Transportation and Stormwater divisions served on a committee that evaluated the firms’ responses, scoring them on demonstrated ability of the personnel proposed to handle the work, each firm’s past performance and experience, and the approach each would take to the widening of Proctor Road.
The group also considered the county’s policy of making an effort to hire local companies, as well as whether any of the firms had “certified minority business enterprise status,” the Procurement materials added.
Stantec ended up withdrawing from the process, one Procurement document said, because of “significant changes in their staffing,” subsequent to that company’s response to the county’s advertisement for services.
Commissioner Michael Moran made the motion on Nov. 16 to award the design contract to Kimley-Horn, and Chair Maio seconded it.
The item was listed as a Presentation Upon Request; however, no board member asked for any remarks, and no member of the public had signed up to address the commission about the plans.