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The Florida Department of Transportation finished the sidewalk this week by connecting pavement from Broadway in Longbeach Village to the Longboat Pass Bridge on the north end. Terry O'  Connor
Longboat Key Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 5 years ago

Historic Longboat Key sidewalk project finished

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The Florida Department of Transportation finished the sidewalk this week by connecting pavement from Broadway in Longbeach Village to the Longboat Pass Bridge on the north end.
by: Terry O’Connor News Editor

For the first time in Longboat Key history, a continuous ribbon of sidewalk runs its entire length.

The Florida Department of Transportation finished the sidewalk this week by connecting pavement from Broadway in Longbeach Village to the Longboat Pass Bridge on the north end.

Commissioner Phill Younger, who helped shepherd the project from its inception more than seven years ago to completion this week, said he was relieved it was finally finished. Traffic constricted to one lane Wednesday on the final day of FDOT work, flowed freely both ways Thursday on the Gulf of Mexico Drive.

“It’s done. I’m just very happy it’s done,” Younger said. “It provides additional safety for people on the north end.”

Town Manager David Bullock credited Younger for seeing the project through.

“For first time ever, we’ll have sidewalk from New Pass to Longboat Bridge,” Bullock said. “Commissioner Younger, when he was Longboat’s representative at (the Metropolitan Planning Organization) pushed it pretty hard as a safety issue. Now it’s in.”

The Florida Department of Transportation finished the sidewalk this week by connecting pavement from Broadway in Longbeach Village to the Longboat Pass Bridge on the north end.
The Florida Department of Transportation finished the sidewalk this week by connecting pavement from Broadway in Longbeach Village to the Longboat Pass Bridge on the north end. Terry O'Connor

The sidewalk shifts from the west side where it starts at the Longboat Pass Bridge to the east side midway to the sidewalk near Broadway because FDOT found the whole stretch of sidewalk would not work on either side. The solution: a midblock crossing at North Shore Road.

A significant dropoff on the east side of GMD and environmental issues on the west side of the road forced FDOT engineers to reach the compromise, said L.K. Nandam, FDOT district traffic operations.

FDOT installed crosswalk warning signs with blinking yellow lights. There are two signs as drivers approach the crosswalk in each direction. One reads, “Crosswalk ahead,” and another warns drivers to stop for flashing lights.

The project was paid for entirely through state funds.

 

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