More than two years after Sarasota County purchased 11 acres of land on Blackburn Point Road to expand Blackburn Point Park, the park’s design is more than halfway complete and a construction date has been set.
The county submitted last week its application to the Army Corps of Engineers to get federal approval for the project.
The main purpose for the park expansion was to create another boat ramp for the area, but the park will also include walking trails, sidewalks, fishing piers, concession area, public restroom, playground, pavilion and a picnic area.
Project Manager Curtis Smith said he doesn’t expect construction to begin until August 2011, because it’s not yet fully funded.
The purchase of land cost the county $16 million. Park construction will cost another $3.1 million. Smith said the county only has about one-third of those construction costs currently funded, but he expects the rest of the money to be available by April 2011.
The park’s neighbors are generally accepting of the improvements now, but when the original design was unveiled in April 2008, some residents, especially those in the Southbay subdivision, were unhappy. They said the park’s amenities were too close to their homes, which would create too much noise.
The county worked with those homeowners to come up with a design that was satisfactory.
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