City manager says project expected to be finished by October
Work resumed in April and is progressing steadily on the City of Sarasota’s Coon Key Multi-Use Recreational Trail (MURT) project along John Ringling Boulevard, City Manager Tom Barwin reported in his May 15 newsletter.
“The statewide stay-at-home order, along with the general slowness of the season, has allowed crews to work on replacing an aging water main below the road with little impact to traffic,” Barwin noted.
When the initiative began in October 2019, city staff announced the expectation that the MURT and water main replacement would be finished in about 11 months. The total cost of the project is about $1.89 million, with the Florida Department of Transportation having contributed approximately $830,000 through a grant, a city news release said.
“That work is expected to wrap up by June, to be followed by the planting of hundreds of new trees and landscaping later this summer,” Barwin continued in his May 15 newsletter. “After that, a new 10-foot-wide path will be constructed on the north side of the road, matching the new one already being enjoyed by pedestrians and cyclists on the south side,” Barwin noted.
The project should be wrapped up by October, providing a safer connection from downtown Sarasota to St. Armands Circle and the barrier islands, “a better option for exercise, recreation and mobility,” he added. Moreover, Barwin continued, he hopes the completion of the MURT will lead to “a small reduction in vehicular traffic.”
Additionally, after the project has been finished, Florida Power & Light Co. plans to bury the overhead power lines along the road, “reducing the risk of power outages during major storms while also improving the aesthetics of the area,” Barwin pointed out.