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East County Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 5 years ago

Tree removal prompts more questions

Creekwood resident Elizabeth Sullivan questions the value of the new diverging diamond interchange under construction.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

I recently read the informative article written by Pam Eubanks on the diverging diamond interchange being built.  There were several issues that were not addressed and I hope Robin Steuben of FDOT can address them. 

Anyone who drove past the devastation and destruction of the once beautiful taxpayer trees that lined the median and on the east/west side of the interstate can now see trees in bundles and piles of roots and brush. 

Question: Are those trees and brush being sold and, if so, who will profit from the sale of them? If so, how much are they being sold for?

Will the trees and Floridian plants be replaced in the median or will it be bare?  Same goes for the east/west sides of the interstate.

The thick, tree line buffer that Manatee and Sarasota has had for years on the east and west side of the interstate — will it be regained once again?

Does FDOT have a separate landscape design plat on what will be planted and where?  

Last, refresh my memory, this 84 million DDI was it planned for one reason only.  The 2017 International Rowing event?  Is this correct?  If this is correct, then the destruction of plants and wildlife and the disruption of the quality of life had no baring on this decision.

Eighty-four million dollars could have gone a long way and gave way and started a pathway for light rail, which is needed in this area: A bridge from Lakewood Ranch to the international rowing park; wide sidewalks for bicyclists and joggers/walkers; a three-story parking facility near the intersection of Cattleman and Fruitville with a light rail to the international rowing park; a light rail from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine or Holiday Inn to the International Rowing Park.  

That would have given us the pathway to start extending a light rail through out our community. This would have started to eliminate vehicles off our roadways along with cutting emissions and pollution.

Gov. Rick Scott, I wish you did not OK it.  I think you should have told FDOT and the Sarasota/Manatee commissioners to go back to the drawing board and give me a better plan. 

As we teach our children and survivors,  "It is ok to say, "No" when something doesn't feel good, and this DDI doesn't feel good for many.

An $84 million DDI.  A horrible idea.

Sincerely,  Elizabeth M. Sullivan


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