Resealing and painting underway in Siesta Public Beach Parking lot, with completion expected on Jan. 26

Parking lot divided into three segments for project

This graphic shows the three segments of the Siesta Public Beach parking lot where the work is underway. Details about the work are included in the article. Image courtesy Sarasota County

On the evening of Christmas Day, a member of the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department staff notified leaders of Siesta Key organizations and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Siesta Key Substation sergeant that, on Jan. 2, the resealing and painting of the parking lot at Siesta Public Beach would begin.

The work is scheduled to be completed by Jan. 26.

All parking areas are set to be open again to the public on Jan. 27, as noted in details provided to the Siesta Key Association, which its president, Catherine Luckner, shared with The Sarasota News Leader. Crews are handling the project in three segments, as noted in a county graphic. The schedule calls for workers to be present Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the graphic said.

As Pinnacle Paving & Sealing of Milford, Ohio, explains on its website, “reseal” refers to the process through which cracks and small holes are repaired and a protective coating is placed over the current asphalt layer. “Your asphalt should be resealed on a regular basis as a part of regular upkeep and maintenance,” the website adds. “This process refreshes your parking lot’s appearance and protects it at the same time.”

Further, the website points out that resealing a parking lot protects the asphalt from the sun’s rays, which “make your asphalt brittle.” Sealant also protects the surface from water, which can contribute to and expand cracks. Further, the website says, “Sealant adds a protective layer that resists damage from fluids that drip from cars, such as oil and antifreeze.”

Jonathan Poyner, Siesta Beach coordinator within the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, requested in the Dec. 25 email that the leaders of the Siesta organizations and Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Smith let their “affected team[s] or stakeholders know” about the plans.

“As Siesta Beach will only increase in popularity as the season progresses, we wanted to thank our Facilities Team for pushing this project forward so quickly and efficiently. Thank you as well, for your patience throughout this project,” Poyner wrote.

In response to a News Leader inquiry about the timing of the project, staff with Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources explained the following in a Jan. 10 email: “The planning for this work began several months ago and the selection and contracting of a vendor began shortly after the beginning of the new fiscal year in October when funds were available. Once the contract was in place a schedule was established based on contractor availability. Though certain times of the year at our beaches can be less busy we felt it important to have the work completed prior to the busiest portion of the year. This work was done to ensure directional [information], arrows, stop bars, and parking spaces are clearly defined for the safety of park visitors. It was important to have this work completed prior to the spring break season.”

Typically, January is a much quieter tourist season month than March and April, as shown in data collected by the county’s tourism office, Visit Sarasota County. March and April generally see the majority of spring break visitors of high school and college age, leaders of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Siesta Key Substation also have reported.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol make their way through the parking lot at Siesta Public Beach in February 2020. The Mounted Patrol Unit routinely is used on the island during the height of tourist season, during the winter months. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, via a video

“Reach out to me directly,” Poyner added in his Dec. 25 email, “if there are any questions or concerns. We will help find alternative solutions to any issues that may arise.”

A chart that Poyner attached to his email pointed out the following:

  • Patrons should expect delays on Beach Road and limited parking at Siesta Public Beach while the project is underway.
  • Portions of the parking lot will be closed to public parking during the work.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking spots will continue to be available in the open lots.
  • All other park amenities will remain open during normal operating hours, which are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • The Breeze Key Breeze trolley will maintain normal operations on Beach Road.

Other details accompanying Poyner’s graphic were as follows:

  • Blue Area — seal coating, Jan. 2 through Jan. 10. Stripping from Jan. 10 through Jan. 12. Lot reopening on Jan. 13.
  • Black Area — seal coating, Jan. 13 through Jan. 18. Stripping from Jan. 18 through Jan. 22. Lot to reopen on Jan. 23.
  • Red Area — permeable area (stripping only) Jan. 23 through Jan. 26. Lot to reopen on Jan. 27.