The city of Sarasota’s newest roundabout at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Main Street will open partially this afternoon.
Main Street merchants’ pain over a new roundabout may soon be over, as the city will open the traffic feature at the Orange Avenue intersection at 5 p.m. today.
“We’re very pleased the intersection will partially reopen on schedule before seasonal residents and visitors return,” said city project manager Richard Winder in a news release. The city plans to open all but the north direction of the roundabout.
“Over two weeks of rain provided a large obstacle for our team,” said Jon F. Swift Construction President Jason Swift in the release. “Despite these challenges, our team was still able to stay on schedule to meet our partial completion deadline and open a portion of the roundabout.”
The city contractor started work on the intersection at the end of July, during which it was closed to traffic. City officials expect the project to be finished by the middle of November.
The city has recently embraced the installation of roundabouts, building three in the downtown area since 2010. City Engineer Alex DavisShaw said in a previous release that the roadway-management tools are effective for reducing congestion, among other benefits.
"Roundabouts are safer for pedestrians as well as motorists, plus they’re more aesthetically pleasing," DavisShaw said.
"We thank the community and surrounding businesses for their patience during construction,” Swift said.