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Accident totals climb at GreyHawk/S.R. 64 intersection

FDOT seeks interim solution to improve safety at GreyHawk Landings's entrance.

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  • | 10:10 a.m. February 14, 2018
Residents of GreyHawk Landing and nearby communities worry about safety at the intersection of Greyhawk Boulevard and State Road 64. File photo.
Residents of GreyHawk Landing and nearby communities worry about safety at the intersection of Greyhawk Boulevard and State Road 64. File photo.
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When Lindsay Rushmore headed down GreyHawk Boulevard to work Jan. 7, she intended to take a detour by turning east on State Road 64 and then taking Lorraine Road south to her destination — Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The GreyHawk Landing resident had received an alert there was a 25-minute delay on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard because of a crash.

However, sitting at the intersection of GreyHawk Boulevard and S.R. 64, she felt it would be unsafe to make a left turn due to the heavy traffic in the intersection. She changed her mind about a detour, turned right on S.R. 64 and instead sat in the heavy traffic on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

“There’s no safe way to leave GreyHawk and head east,” Rushmore said of the left turn across S.R. 64.

The intersection of GreyHawk Boulevard-Pope Road and S.R. 64 doesn’t have a traffic signal.

The traffic conflicts have resulted in three crashes in January, compared with eight in all of 2016 and 13 in 2017.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Zach Burch said FDOT is working to find a temporary solution to make the intersection safer.

“Our staff is considering a number of solutions for interim improvements,” Burch said. “We know there appears to be an issue there. We want to do something sooner than later. We are trying to figure out what is the most appropriate solution at that intersection.”

Long term, FDOT plans to construct a roundabout there,  but the project is not funded until 2024. Roundabouts at Rye and Lorraine roads farther east are scheduled in the coming years, with the one at Rye Road funded in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Temporary signals will be installed at those intersections this year with the first one going up at Rye Road by early May and the second at Lorraine by early July.

Burch sent correspondence to GreyHawk Landing residents seeking suggestions and information on what traffic issues are most concerning.

Burch said all options are on the table, including a possible traffic signal. Any changes to the intersection will require a public hearing. Adding a temporary signal may be possible if there’s funding — cost would be between $200,000 and $300,000 — and it could be tied in with one of the other upcoming signal projects.

Burch said the temporary signals coming to Rye and Lorraine road intersections should help by creating more breaks in traffic. However, FDOT still is committed to finding an interim solution for drivers at GreyHawk.

GreyHawk Landing Community Development District engineer Rick Schappacher said the community has seen more traffic at the intersection since FDOT started work to improve the interchange at State Road 64 and Interstate 75. Drivers are seeking alternative routes to avoid that construction, particularly during  rush hours.

Vehicles stack in the middle of the intersection, waiting to get across as others try to turn, creating line-of-sight problems.

“They have to pull out far enough to see and their bumpers are basically in the travel lane,” Schappacher said. “It’s so hard to maneuver that intersection.”


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