Residents and property owners on the north end of Beach Road near the Siesta Key Village have expressed concerns recently with the increasingly poor condition of the road, which some of the area’s residents rely on as their only access point.
Eroded to one lane of access, this northern portion of Beach Road is closed to the public to the south, between Avenida Messina and Columbus Boulevard. On the west side of the road, which runs directly along the beach, large portions of asphalt have broken off and fallen onto the beach, leaving approximately half of the original road intact.
Jean Furlong is the property manager for three beach homes on Beach Road, and at the very least, she’s hoping to bring some light to the issue, which she says has only gotten worse over the years. According to Furlong, the road, which was already in rough condition, has seen accelerated deterioration over the past year-and-a-half. She reports that the beach-facing portion has begun to deteriorate to the point of crumbling onto the beach, and she’s worried about a potential loss of access for area residents, some of whose homes can only be reached via Beach Road.
“I’ve noticed such rapid deterioration,” said Furlong. “We don’t have any other options for emergency vehicles. I just don’t want to be in a position of wishing we had done something.”
Beach Road has been eroding for some time, but, so far, funds have not been available to revamp the area.
At the Sarasota County Commission meeting held Wednesday, March 14, repairs to Beach Road were listed as second on the county’s list of unfunded mobility projects.
Sarasota County executive director of public works, James Harriott Jr., addressed the safety concerns involved with the road’s condition during the meeting.
“Beach Road is washed out and washing out on the beach side, just west of Siesta Village,” said Harriott. “Every time we get a heavy storm, it erodes even further. The asphalt is literally washing into the roadway.”
“If this washes any further, people are going to lose access to their homes,” added Commissioner Nora Patterson at the meeting.
Thai Tran, mobility program manager for Sarasota County, was unsure of an estimated cost for the repairs and reports that the project will remain a No. 2 priority unfunded mobility project until funding becomes available. Tran says he expects the issue to be presented to the commission again in the near future.
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