Roundabout construction at U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road could get underway as early as July

Roundabouts at 10th and 14th streets in Sarasota may be finished by January, vice mayor reports

A rendering on the website for the Quay Sarasota development shows the roundabout planned at the U.S. 41/Fruitville Road intersection in downtown Sarasota. Image from GreenPointe Communities

Construction of the planned two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Fruitville Road and U.S. 41 in downtown Sarasota could get underway as soon as July, Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin reported on May 20.

“Just so people can prepare mentally and vehicularly,” he said during the City Commission’s regular meeting that day.

In response to a Sarasota News Leader request for information, Brian R. Rick, public information specialist for the District 1 office of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), wrote in a May 23 email, “The [July] timeframe is dependent on when the permit gets approved and when the Notice to Proceed is issued to the Contractor.”

As of May 23, he continued, some outstanding matters remained to be completed prior to FDOT’s approval of the permit for the work. Among those are a right of way donation, easement issues and the necessity of the posting of a bond or other security instrument in the event problems arise during construction.

In the meantime, Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch reported on May 20, the roundabouts the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been constructing at the intersections of 10th Street and 14th Street on U.S. 41 may be completed as early as December.

According to information she has received, Ahearn-Koch added, the timeframe of December or January 2020 is what staff members at FDOT “are shooting for.”

She also clarified that the roundabouts would be “functionally drivable,” but they would not have their final appearance at that point. For example, she said, they will be missing the public art installations the city has planned within them.

“Fingers crossed,” Barwin responded to her update.

After the Suncoast Powerboat Grand Prix Festival ends in early July, Barwin noted, the work on the roundabouts is expected to shift to the east side of U.S. 41.

A July 2018 graphic showed tentative plans for the roundabout at the intersection of Fruitville Road and U.S. 41 in downtown Sarasota. Image courtesy FDOT

The remarks came after the commission unanimously approved two Consent Agenda items on May 20 related to the Fruitville/U.S. 41 roundabout.

According to materials provided to the commission in advance of the meeting, the timeline calls for that roundabout to be completed by June 30, 2021.

The scope of services for the project says the roundabout will be located “approximately 400 feet from the intersection in each direction along US 41 and Fruitville Road, a distance of approximately 0.220 miles.”

FDOT has agreed to reimburse the city $400,000 for construction engineering inspection services (CEI) for the project. That work must be undertaken in accordance with a number of state guidelines, as detailed in a series of manuals named in the agreement the City Commission approved. Primary among them are FDOT’s Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction and its Design Standards and Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

The commission also had to comply with an FDOT requirement for formal approval of a resolution regarding the $400,000 grant.

The FDOT Five-Year Work Program for 2019 through 2024 — updated on April 3 — says the total amount it will provide for construction of the roundabout has been estimated at $6,152,000.

On July 2, 2018, the City Commission voted unanimously to approve the city’s expense of $4,879,937.56 for the project. Material provided to the board in advance of that vote explained that GeenPointe Communities, the developer of the Quay Sarasota project, had agreed to pay up to $5.5 million — which was estimated as FDOT’s portion of the expense at that time — to expedite the construction.

Rick of FDOT confirmed for the News Leader on May 23 that GreenPointe is the party that will receive the FDOT permit for the project.

The city’s funding for the roundabout will come out of road impact fee revenue.

The Quay Sarasota site is west of the U.S. 41/Fruitville Road intersection.

At the time of the July 2018 City Commission vote, the construction was expected to get underway no later than early this year, according to the backup agenda materials.

1 thought on “Roundabout construction at U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road could get underway as early as July”

  1. I don’t get it. The City can’t find money or time to upgrade the Lido Beach Pavilion, but MANY, MANY MILLIONS are available for ROUNDABOUTS on Rt 41 and for consideration of Bobby Jones Golf course upgrades, and so quickly too. How did those roundabouts get approved and funded so quickly? I have listened to pitches saying how roundabouts will be great, but am VERY skeptical that will do anything but snarl traffic worse than now.

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