Applause and an enthusiastic audience met District 5 Commissioner Vanessa Baugh May 21, when she entered the Esplanade community clubhouse.
Baugh had been approached by a resident of the community recently, who asked her to lead a forum that addressed transportation and growth in the constantly expanding Lakewood Ranch area.
"We have a lot of issues going on, don't we?," Baugh asked. "Do growth and transportation come to mind? I'll tell you what I know, and you ask me what you want to know."
Residents voiced concerns about the number of new developments being created, and not enough streets to alleviate the traffic congestion on major roadways, such as Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and State Road 70.
Baugh assured the attendees that the same issue has been on her mind, and that she had some good news for them.
At the Sarasota County commission meeting May 21, a few longtime anticipated projects received a go ahead — building a $7.5 million overpass from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to Cattlemen Road, and extending Lorraine Road and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard south to Fruitville.
"I had lunch with Gov. Rick Scott today, and I only had about five minutes alone with him," Baugh said, "and in that time I told him, 'Governor, I need a road.' I cried (upon hearing the news of the approval of the Villages Lakewood Ranch South project)."
Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].