Orange Avenue-Main Street roundabout opened in downtown Sarasota

Completion comes ahead of previously anticipated Nov. 11 schedule

The new roundabout at Orange Avenue and Main Street in Sarasota is open. City of Sarasota photo
The new roundabout at Orange Avenue and Main Street in Sarasota is open. City of Sarasota photo

The City of Sarasota announced on Oct. 19 that the new roundabout at Orange Avenue and Main Street has opened.

Three days earlier, in his weekly newsletter, City Manager Tom Barwin wrote, “We’re getting word from our contractor, Jon F. Swift Construction, that the … barricades at Orange Avenue and Main Street should be removed by [Saturday, Oct. 17], meaning the new roundabout will be fully open and functional!”

The confirmation of the project’s completion came Oct. 19 on the city’s Facebook page; it included a video.

Barwin added in his Oct. 16 newsletter that since the intersection partially reopened last month, “we’ve been receiving positive comments about the new roundabout and crosswalks. People like the aesthetics of the intersection, the sense of place, and what they feel is a safer pedestrian walking experience.”

The intersection was closed at the end of July with the goal of partially reopening it by the end of September, a Sept. 30 city news release explained. However, consistent rainfall over a two-week period made it appear construction would not be completed until Nov. 11, the release added.

“Most of the closure time was necessary while crews worked beneath the intersection making significant utility improvements,” the release noted.

Richard Winder, the city’s project manager, pointed out in that release, “You never know what you could encounter when you’re working underground,” adding that Swift Construction crews were able to resolve unexpected issues with stormwater and water lines.

Additionally, the Sept. 30 release said, “City staff and employees with Jon F. Swift Construction worked closely with merchants to lessen the construction impact as much as possible, including modifying the hours of construction, providing progress updates, and offering complimentary valet parking to the public.

In his Oct. 16 newsletter, Barwin also extended his appreciation “to our downtown business owners who endured the temporary road closure while we worked on the improvements.”

During the project, 27,700 decorative bricks were installed in the vicinity of the roundabout and in the crosswalks, and 1,500 linear feet of new concrete curbs and 10,000 square feet of concrete driveways were added, the Sept. 30 release pointed out.