Dead fish causing a stink during roundabout project at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue in Sarasota

Residents on Sarasota's Bayfront frustrated over dead fish connected to roundabout project.
Residents on Sarasota's Bayfront frustrated over dead fish connected to roundabout project.(WWSB)
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 9:10 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Many people who live on the Bayfront in Sarasota had to live with a strong odor last week. Residents say thousands of dead fish have been lying there for days, and the unbearable smell to go along with it.

“You can’t sit out on your patio, you couldn’t use it because it stunk so bad,” said Garry Brooks, a Bay Plaza resident. “The smell went up Main Street, it was just horrible.”

The Florida Department of Transportation says the draining of these ponds is all part of road construction on U.S. 41 at Gulfstream Avenue for the roundabout project. The state says it’s in compliance.

“FWC gave us the OK that everything was done properly, that everything was done in a safe manner,” said Adam Rose, Spokesperson for FDOT. “Fish populations will regrow.”

One of the ponds was drained and worked on last week. Another pond is being drained this week, so residents may have to go through this all over again in the coming days.

“It’s just, unfortunately, part of the cost of trying to get better and safer transportation for everyone,” said Rose. “So we are actively working and monitoring that area.”

Residents say they have reached out to FDOT as well as the city of Sarasota, but they have had no luck in changing the situation.

“It doesn’t appear there’s anything that can be done, that’s the way it is,” said Brooks.

FDOT says they will continue to work closely with residents to try and ease their concerns. This roundabout project is expected to be finished by the fall of 2022.

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