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Sarasota’s Fruitville roundabout to usher in road closures, detours

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Although the planned roundabout for U.S.41 and Gulfstream Avenue at the base of the Ringling Bridge will fundamentally alter both the visual and driving experience in Downtown Sarasota, an only slightly less ambitious project is looming to the north.

Soon the U.S.41 and Fruitville Road roundabout construction will begin and continue for at least one year.

The project is described in detail and in only positive tones at a website dedicated to the Fruitville roundabout, www.us41fruitvilleroundabout.com.

Motorists can expect road closures, detours and a reduction in speed limit during construction. The westernmost block of Fruitville Road will be closed for all westbound traffic and according to the City and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), “Drivers traveling north to the airport or south to the barrier islands will need to take an alternate route.”

During construction, drivers heading south on U.S.41 who wish to enter the downtown will need to reroute on 10th Street or Boulevard of the Arts.

The speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph on U.S.41 from First Street to Boulevard of the Arts. And on Fruitville Road from U.S.41 to Coconut Avenue.

According to FDOT, the roundabout will move traffic through the busy intersection 30-50 percent faster at the intersection of U.S.41 and Fruitville Road than it does today.

The FDOT also says that the roundabout can reduce pedestrian/bicycle crashes by as much as 40 percent. Pedestrians will use the HAWK crossing systems that will be installed when the project is completed.

Specifically, the scope of the project will consist of:

• Replacement of the signalized intersection at Fruitville Road with the roundabout

• Construction of a 12-foot multi-use recreational trail on the west side of U.S.41 and a sidewalk on the east side of U.S.41

• Construction of raised islands for pedestrian refuge, installation of the HAWK pedestrian system, LED streetlights and new landscaping

• Replacement of City utility and underground drainage systems

• Replacement of privately-owned utilities and infrastructure

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