Longboat Key motorists should be on the alert for delays stemming from two construction projects that started almost simultaneously this week.
A Gulf of Mexico Drive repaving project that was originally scheduled for August began Monday, Oct. 4, and a brick-paver crosswalk construction project on St. Armands Circle began Sunday, Oct. 3.
Both projects, however, will be performed during evening hours.
On the Key, Gulf of Mexico Drive, from the Sarasota County-Manatee County line to the New Pass Bridge, will be repaved.
Heavy rainfall from a stalled low-pressure system delayed the start of the project, which was originally scheduled to begin Aug. 23.
Scheduling conflicts between Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) contractors also delayed the project.
The project, which is now expected to be complete in February, involves removing old asphalt and resurfacing the road, shoulder work, curb and gutter modifications and the addition of new sidewalks, pavement markings and necessary highway signs.
There will be temporary lane closures and nighttime work performed between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. At Longboat Club Road and Bay Isles Parkway, paving operations will be conducted between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.
Lane closures, according to posted signs, will last until Jan. 17.
The Manatee County portion of Gulf of Mexico Drive, which was repaved last summer during daytime hours, created traffic delays for motorists and led to Town Manager Bruce St. Denis’ decision to grant FDOT contractors a reprieve from the town’s noise ordinance, which doesn’t allow construction work during evening hours.
A St. Armands Circle paver project, meanwhile, is also taking place during evening hours, through the end of October. But the project excludes construction work during Friday and Saturday nights to better accommodate Circle visitors.
Diana Corrigan, executive director of the St. Armands Circle Association, released a construction schedule provided by FDOT that shows the contractor will finish two crosswalks per evening between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Parking spaces at the Circle, however, will start being blocked off at 9 p.m., and traffic will be rerouted down Adams Drive.
Traffic heading south from Longboat between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sundays and Mondays will not be redirected and will be able to move through the Circle as normal.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, however, traffic heading south from Longboat during contruction hours will be rerouted down Madison Drive and around the back way of the Circle.
All roads to and from the Circle will be open at 6 a.m. each day.
The city of Sarasota has also approved and budgeted a repaving and restriping of South Boulevard of the Presidents and John Ringling Boulevard in the commercial tourism district. That project, however, does not have an official start date but is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
St. Armands Circle re-paver schedule
Phase I (Oct. 3 to Oct. 7) Jackhammer and remove the concrete. Backfill with asphalt.
Oct. 3 Foxy Lady and Starbucks crosswalk
Oct. 4 The Columbia and Bank of America crosswalk
Oct. 5 Bottle Shop and Fresh Produce crosswalk
Oct. 6 Alvin's Island & McCarver & Moser crosswalk
Oct. 7 The two crosswalks that lead into the Circle Park
Phase II (Oct. 10 to Oct. 14) Milling & resurfacing of crosswalks
Oct. 10 Foxy Lady and Starbucks crosswalk
Oct. 11 The Columbia and Bank of America crosswalk
Oct. 12 Bottle Shop and Fresh Produce crosswalk
Oct. 13 Alvin's Island & McCarver & Moser crosswalk
Oct. 14 The two crosswalks that lead into the Circle Park
NOTE: There will be a two-week delay to allow time for the asphalt to cure before the new textured surface is laid.
Phase III (Oct. 24 to Oct. 28) Install the new STS system (textured material) with new Thermostriping
• This will take two-to-three nights, and more than one section will be done at a time, starting with Foxy Lady and working around the Circle as mentioned above.
• This project will be completed by the end of the month, barring any weather events.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].