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Improvements on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard lead to minor delays

Drivers will experience some minor traffic delays as the intersection at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Clubhouse Drive is upgraded.
Drivers will experience some minor traffic delays as the intersection at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Clubhouse Drive is upgraded.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer
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According to statistics provided by Manatee County, more than 20,000 cars a day drive through the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Clubhouse Drive.

That is the biggest reason motorists have experienced a backup while intersection improvements are being made there.

However, Manatee County spokesman Bill Logan said the biggest delays are just about finished as intermittent lane closures are only expected for two more weeks.

The improvements at the intersection include the addition of a traffic signal, northbound and southbound right turn lanes, eastbound and westbound left turn lanes, new crosswalks with crosswalk signals, fiber optic communication related infrastructure, and advanced traffic management system devices.

Motorists also had to deal with other slight delays along that stretch of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in the last week as a "scratch course," was applied to reduce the effect of potholes.

That repair to the roadway, on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard between Switchgrass Trail and State Road 70, is not a long-term solution but a temporary fix until a major paving project begins.

Logan said the finished surface won’t be aesthetically pleasing, but the goal is to patch holes and shore up the surface so that the asphalt crews don’t have to make so many site visits.

Manatee County laid down a thin layer of asphault to temporarily smooth the worst sections of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard until a complete resurfacing can be done next year.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

For residents, it could mean less trips to the mechanic. AAA estimates the average pothole repair costs $425 in Florida.

Paving on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard began on June 21 and was completed by the time rush hour traffic began on June 24. Drivers negotiated through lane shifts, but no full-lane closures.

Manatee County put down a scratch course because that stretch of the road was in particularly poor condition. A scratch course is a thin layer of asphalt that will level the road.

The $16,448,575 major paving plan on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard is due to start construction in October 2025. The base and asphalt will be reconstructed on the 2.9-mile corridor of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard from University Parkway to State Road 70.

The sidewalks will be repaired where needed. Pedestrian striping at crosswalks will be enhanced. And traffic signals will be upgraded with Microwave Vehicle Detection Systems, which detect roadway data like the speed and volume of cars.

Originally split into three separate projects that would’ve extended the completion date, the corridor is now expected to be finished by December 2026.

“Instead of stepping it out over a few years, I had (staff) prioritize doing the 70 to University stretch right away,” Commissioner Ray Turner said. “We’re not cutting that into sections. We’re not cutting anything. We’re funding the whole thing.”

If all goes according to plan, construction will then start on the inside lanes of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard from State Road 70 to State Road 64 in October 2027. The outside lanes were reconstructed in 2019. The project is estimated to be complete by the end of 2028 and cost $13,765,550.



Lesley Dwyer

Lesley Dwyer is a staff writer for East County and a graduate of the University of South Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing, she freelanced for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Lesley has lived in the Sarasota area for over 25 years.

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