Casey Key residents have submitted a list of concerns and possible solutions to Sarasota County commissioners regarding anticipated traffic problems that may arise because following improvements to Blackburn Point Park.
Construction on the improvements, which include the area’s only large public boat ramp, is scheduled to begin in six months. However, residents want provisions in place to help alleviate problems caused by the increased traffic the improvements likely will bring.
“We welcome the park,” said Bob Metzger, president of the Casey Key Association. “But we are concerned, because (the road) is already crowded.”
The Osprey park sits on Blackburn Point Road, which is a two-lane road, with minimal shoulder, leading from U.S. 41 west to Casey Key.
In the middle of the road is a one-lane swing bridge that stops traffic when it opens to let a boat pass.
Blackburn Point Park is divided into three sections, one of which is west of the bridge. People wanting to get to and from that section will occasionally be stopped at the bridge.
The park also will have the only large public boat ramp in the area that likely will attract many boaters.
About four years ago, the county purchased an additional 11 acres of land to add to the park’s existing five acres. The cost was $16 million.
Along with the boat ramp, the plan calls for walking trails, sidewalks, fishing piers, a concession area, public restroom, playground, pavilion and a picnic area.
The county estimates adding those amenities will run $5.4 million.
Construction is expected to end in January 2013.
Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].
CASEY KEY ASSOCIATION’S SOLUTIONS
• During times when the bridge is open and the parking lot is full, redirect traffic at U.S. 41 to use the Albee Road bridge to access Casey Key.
• Put the openings and closings of the bridge on a regular schedule.
• Stop Casey Key Fish House customers from parking on the street.
• Stop people from fishing on the fixed Blackburn Point bridge.
• Employ a sign at U.S. 41 to alert drivers when the swing bridge is closed.
• Possibly make the left turn lane into the east portion of the park a little longer.