Pine Place/Ringling roundabout construction set to begin April 29 in downtown Sarasota

Completion of project expected by early 2025

This graphic shows the general design of the Pine Place roundabout. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

On April 29, construction is scheduled to begin on a roundabout at the intersection of Ringling Boulevard and Pine Place in downtown Sarasota, near both a U.S. Post Office and the Sarasota County Administration Center, City of Sarasota staff announced this week.

As of April 29, a City of Sarasota news release says, the westbound lanes between Osprey Avenue and Rawls Avenue will be closed. The full intersection is not expected to close to traffic until Saturday, May 4, the release adds.

The city’s project webpage dedicated to the initiative points out that all construction work is to be performed during daylight hours — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — unless prior approval has been granted to alter that schedule.

The project webpage further explains that the project limits on Ringling Boulevard will “extend approximately 320 feet to the west and 260 feet to the east of the center of the intersection. Pine Place limits extend approximately 130 feet to the north and 110 feet to the south.”

“Access to all public buildings and private businesses is to be maintained at all times,” the webpage also says.

Construction is expected to conclude by January 2025, the release notes.

Moreover, “The City’s project team is coordinating with the contractor, Ajax Paving Company, to minimize impacts to motor, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic,” the city release notes.

This graphic shows details about detours for pedestrians as the roundabout construction is underway. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

“Replacing the signalized intersection with a modern roundabout will increase the continuous flow of traffic and contribute to safer roadways,” the release says. “Studies have shown that roundabouts result in 80% fewer serious crashes on average.”

State transportation officials have stressed that the slower speeds of vehicles using roundabouts is the primary factor leading to the reduction in the number of serious crashes, along with a drop in significant injuries or deaths associated with crashes.

The project will include warning lights for pedestrian crossings, brick paver crosswalks, a landscaped center island, and improvements to surrounding green spaces, the release adds.

Further, the project webpage says, striping and markings will “match the bicycle and pedestrian enhancements to the Ringling Trail,” which extends west from Lime Avenue in downtown Sarasota.

Additionally, a new Sarasota County Transit bus stop and bus shelter will be constructed to allow the staging of two buses outside the travel lane, the project webpage says.

In December 2023, the Sarasota City Commission accepted extra construction funds from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), to make the roundabout possible. Originally, FDOT provided the city $1,977,000 for the undertaking. However, the city ended up getting only two bids for the initiative, and the lower one came in at $3,722,466, staff informed the City Commission. Therefore, city staff submitted a request to FDOT for another $2,093,466. As a result, FDOT adjusted its maximum grant for the project to $4,070,466.

The roundabout at Pine Place will complete a string of such structures along Ringling Boulevard, the city news release points out. The other roundabouts exist at the intersections of Palm Avenue, Pineapple Avenue and Orange Avenue.

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