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The Legacy Trail Laurel Road overpass to be complete in the fall

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Contractors are working to build the bridge over Laurel Road so motorists don't have to stop for bicyclists on The Legacy Trail.

"When we found the Legacy Trail we thought this is where we have to be," said Carla Martin.

Martin and her husband moved to Sarasota in part because of the Legacy Trail. Today, she's a Director of the Friends of Legacy Trail group.

"A few years ago, Friends of the Legacy Trail was not sure why a bridge was going to be put up across Laurel Road. There was so little traffic and it was easily crossed," Martin said.

Sarasota County approved the overpass construction to some mixed reviews. Now though, sentiments are changing.

"A lot of growth has happened in Nokomis and I-75 is at the eastern end so it's certainly necessary to have a bridge there," Martin said.

As nearby Nokomis rapidly grows, more and more traffic is showing up on Laurel Road.

The project is being done by the Florida Department of Transportation. It's not cheap, nearly $2 million-dollars. The bases of both sides of the overpass are being constructed right now. There are plenty of detours for the trails users.

Martin says among enhancing bicyclist and motorist safety, there's another benefit as well.

"It's going to give cyclists an opportunity or some exercise for some hills because you can't get that anywhere else in Florida," Martin said.

The project is expected to be complete in the fall of this year.

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