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Plans coming together for turn lane near Country Club Shores

FDOT gives its OK to proceed with final design on $1.3 million project.

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  • | 12:40 p.m. January 30, 2019
  • Longboat Key
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Two long-discussed traffic projects on Gulf of Mexico Drive are now on different schedules.

The Florida Department of Transportation has given Longboat Key a green light to proceed with plans for the final design and permitting of a new center turn lane on Gulf of Mexico Drive adjacent to Country Club Shores.

The second Gulf of Mexico Drive project — a roundabout at the intersection of Gulf of Mexico Drive and Broadway Street — requires a preliminary development and engineering study before proceeding with plans. This study, which would include public input, is estimated to cost the town $300,000.

Country Club Shores

The 0.88-mile section of Gulf of Mexico Drive between Longboat Club Road and Channel Lane would include raised medians — five have been suggested — to keep the center lane from being used for passing, Public Works Director Isaac Brownman said. 


An example of a buffered bike path.
An example of a buffered bike path.

The state would also like to see the construction of 6-foot-wide buffered bike lanes constructed.

“They also want to see full resurfacing of the cross section and minor drainage improvements,” Brownman said.

“We have gone through many iterations with FDOT on what they will and will not accept,” he said of the project that has been on Longboat leaders’ minds for years.

In fact, the original agreement with FDOT called for the required improvements to be underway by last October. 

Now, however, the start date for the $1.3 million construction of the center lane has been extended to Jan. 31, 2021.

Lynn Larson, a Country Club Shores resident and former town commissioner, questioned the potential installation of the medians.

“It doesn’t make sense,” she said. “The rest of the Key doesn’t have raised medians.”

Broadway and GMD roundabout

More than 9,700 vehicles pass this intersection daily. Four years ago, the town outlined the feasibility of building a traffic circle on Broadway, as well the Gulf of Mexico Drive intersection with Longboat Club Road to the south, a project that is in a holding pattern until the owners of the Resort at Longboat Key decide on what to do with its proposed development of a 300-room hotel and 93 condominiums. Resort owners won the right to proceed with such a development in a May 2015 vote, but no plans have been put forward.


Public Works Director Isaac Brownman said the town is focusing on the Broadway traffic circle, which is estimated to cost $3 million and could be under construction in the next two years.

Roundabouts on the north end and south end (see in this proposal) are part of the town's long-range plans for Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Roundabouts on the north end and south end (see in this proposal) are part of the town's long-range plans for Gulf of Mexico Drive.

“We have $150,000 in the budget to advance the design,” he said. “Rights of way are needed, and we will need to do drainage.”

To save the town money, Brownman said preliminary development and engineering studies could be done for both proposed roundabouts, which would cost around $450,000.

“If we package both into a PD&E, we would not be obligated to proceed with both,” said Brownman, adding these studies have a shelf life.

The town could opt to fund, one, or both projects itself, he said. If this is done, the town would not have to do a PD&E study for either project, Brownman said.








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