Resurfacing of multiple Siesta Key roads expected to begin later this month, thanks to County Commission’s April 9 vote

Ajax Paving Industries of North Venice wins $11.4-million contract

This aerial map shows the stretch of Beach Road from Columbus Boulevard (marked with the red balloon) to Ocean Boulevard. Image from Google Maps

In granting unanimous approval to the items on their April 9 Consent Agenda of routine business matters, the Sarasota County commissioners agreed to pay $11,364,864.64 to Ajax Paving Industries of Florida LLC in North Venice for the resurfacing of multiple road segments on Siesta Key.

The total lane-mile count will be 34.72, as noted in a county staff memo that was part of the April 9 agenda packet. The work is expected to start this month, the memo added, with substantial completion in November, “weather permitting.”

The funding for the initiative will come out of gas tax revenue that the county receives and the county’s Traffic Fund in the Surtax 3 Program, a voter-approved initiative that generates revenue from an additional penny of sales tax.

In May 2023, County Public Works Director Spencer Anderson explained to the commissioners that continuing increases in paving costs — a result of inflation — had delayed projects that were scheduled prior to this fiscal year. He reported, for example, that Siesta Key resurfacing plans had had to be delayed until this summer.

The April 9 memo also pointed out, “The project includes milling and paving of existing roadways, pavement striping, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramp modifications, curb repairs and roadway base repairs.” Additionally, the memo noted, the resurfacing is to take 245 days.

Further, the memo said, the contract with Ajax Paving includes two alternates. One allows for the resurfacing of Beach Road from Ocean Boulevard to Midnight Pass Road. The second would permit the resurfacing of multiple streets in Coral Cove.

In response to a Sarasota News Leader question about the alternates, the Public Works staff replied in an April 11 email, “The alternates were awarded, so yes, they are included in the project and will be accomplished within the project timeline.”

Among the streets on the primary list are Beach Road from Columbus Boulevard to Ocean Boulevard; Avenida Messina from Beach Road to Ocean Boulevard; Point of Rocks and Roberts Point circles; Higel Avenue from Windward Place to Ocean Boulevard; Givens Street from Ocean Boulevard to Higel Avenue; and both Calle De La Siesta and Calle Del Invierno from Beach Road to Canal Road.

“Prior to construction,” the memo continued, “mailers will be sent to individual properties adjacent to the work, notifying [the owners] of the upcoming resurfacing and projected schedules. Moreover, it said, Ajax Paving will notify the affected condominium associations on Beach Road “at least three to five days in advance of construction activities.”

The memo also pointed out, “Staff will work closely with Ajax on the implementation and execution of [the] Maintenance of Traffic

plan. This includes improved placement of variable message signs, coordinated detour routes and minimizing areas affected by adjusted traffic patterns.”

On Nov. 17, 2023, the memo said, county staff advertised an Invitation for Bids for the project. Although 562 vendors viewed the solicitation, the memo added, only three submitted a bid. Preferred Materials Inc. — which has offices in Orlando, Winter Park and Daytona Beach — provided a bid price of $12,653,489.91, a county Procurement Department document showed. Superior Asphalt Inc. of Bradenton bid $18,667,322.

These are the road segments scheduled for paving, plus the two alternates provided in the contract. Image courtesy Sarasota County