A new major arterial roadway is open and ready for business.
The Honore Avenue extension from Palmer Ranch to State Road 681, in Nokomis, officially opened March 16, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“The road is a critical connector,” said County Commissioner Jon Thaxton.
But, unlike most large road projects in Sarasota County, the county did not pay for and construct this roadway.
Palmer Ranch Holdings funded the $5.6 million, 2.5-mile project. Because a private company and not a local government hired the contractor, a lengthy public bidding process did not take place. The company will be reimbursed through impact-fee credits.
The extension, on which construction began in January 2010, winds from south of Central Sarasota Parkway, through Palmer Ranch and into State Road 681.
“It was important to get (the extension) through now, because prices were low,” said Justin Powell, Palmer Ranch Holdings vice president.
The roadway not only opens up 900 acres of Palmer Ranch property, but will also serve as an important north-south arterial connector, especially when there are backups or closures on I-75.
That fact does concern some Palmer Ranch residents, who fear there will be speeding cars and increased truck traffic due to the new retailers that are coming to Palmer Ranch.
“The concern is the new stores, like Kohl’s, will have their delivery trucks coming down Honore to Central Sarasota Parkway,” said Margaret Brading, Palmer Ranch Communities Coalition president.
Brading said speeding, primarily at night, is already a problem on Honore Avenue. She hopes, though, that with increased traffic, nighttime speeding will subside.
The county is planning a 45 mph speed limit from Clark Road to State Road 681 on the Honore Avenue extension.
Designed as a four-lane road, the extension will only have two lanes at first, until there is demand for the extra lanes.
To download a map of the Honore Avenue extension, click here.
The fifth annual Sarasota Springfest takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the corner of Sawyer Loop and Northridge Road, in Palmer Ranch. In addition to live entertainment, displays and exhibits, health screenings, a business expo and children’s activities, the event also offers a 5K family fun walk/run and a 12K road race. Both races begin at 7:30 a.m.
Visit SarasotaSpringfest.com for information.
Contact Robin Roy at email@example.com.