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Sarasota Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2022 3 days ago

Gulfstream Avenue roundabout finally taking shape

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With grading well underway, the roundabout at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue is finally looking like a traffic circle.
by: Andrew Warfield Staff Writer

With the grading of the actual roundabout at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue underway, drivers in the area can begin to have some sense — amid all the street closures and traffic shifts to make way for construction — of how the project will appear when completed before the end of the year.

Representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation held their monthly project update virtual meeting on Wednesday, when they reported the completion of some ancillary aspects of the project and laid out the schedule of work to be performed in the coming weeks.

“The roundabout has been graded,” said Pinky Pakalapati, the project engineer. “You can see the outline of the final roundabout pretty clearly right now. We are grading for the base and curbs, so once that is all final graded we will be coming in and putting the curbs there.”

Motorists drive in close proximity to a grader at the U.S. 41-Gulfstream Avenue roundabout construction project. (Andrew Warfield)

Otherwise, much of the work remains on the approaches to the roundabout, largely along U.S. 41. Recently completed was installation and activation of fiber optic cable from Main Street to Fruitville Road, and as of end of day Wednesday, new water and sewer lines that had to be moved to facilitate the new roadway were to be connected.

“Drainage work at First Street along the east side of 41 all the way from Palm to a little bit north of First Street will be  commencing this week and continuing for another two or three weeks,” Pakalapati said. “The side streets will be closed off during that time until the drainage is completed and the sidewalks are all completed. Pedestrian pathways on the east side (of U.S. 41) will continue to be where they are right now.”

Pakalapati also provided an update on the upcoming re-striping of the Ringling Bridge to mark a new shared lane for bicycles and the Bay Runner trolley. Although not within the scope of the roundabout project, the work will have an impact on how the roundabout functions during and following construction.

That work, he said should commence in mid- to late July.

“The contract the bridge striping is supposed to be completed by mid-August, Pakalapati said. “As we know more information about that I'll let you know. Maybe it probably will start two to three weeks before that date.”

The next roundabout update may well take place as that striping project is underway. It’s scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 20.

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