New roundabout coming to busy Siesta Key

ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:50 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota County Commissioners approved a roundabout at the intersection of Midnight Pass and Beach Road in Siesta Key. The project will cost $2.9 million and according to Sarasota County Public Works Director Spencer Anderson is funded by the state and FDOT.

Anderson explained the roundabout is supposed to help alleviate traffic and keep pedestrians safe.

“”They’ll push the button, lights will flash and indicate to drivers there’s someone entering the crosswalks. In addition to that, It removes point to conflict between vehicles and pedestrians and what that means, at the various places where a vehicle and pedestrian might interact,” explained Anderson.

The project is starting in the middle of 2024 and expected to be finished in early 2025. Anderson said they won’t be closing down the intersection during construction.

“”The plan will be to maintain two way traffic through the duration of construction. So we won’t be shutting down any approach to the roundabout of through traffic. It may be slower at times due to construction activity,” said Anderson.

Spa Experience Siesta Key Owner Connie Lewis has concerns over the roundabout. The spa sits at the end of the intersection and she’s experienced first-hand just how bad the congestion and traffic is. According to Lewis, it might not be the right fit for the area.

“”I’m not sure how the roundabout is going to go with this community being filled with snowbirds and a lot of tourists. They don’t really know where they’re going most of the time and the roundabouts, they need to educate people on how to drive in them. I witness people crossing lanes like crazy down by the Ritz Carlton. I almost got in two accidents and I’ve only been in the roundabout twice,” said Lewis.

Anderson explained the project is still in its early phases but explained it will be a one lane roundabout with bigger side walks, more street lights, and cross walks with flashing lights.