Residents want more done on Manasota Key Road

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 8:53 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Parts of Manasota Key Road are still crumbled on the beach, but Sarasota County is getting closer to reopening the road that had parts washed away during Hurricane Idalia.

The county recently announced a purchase order of $3.8 million to repair the road to it’s previous condition, but this isn’t good enough for some residents.

“It’s just so pointless to spend a bunch of money to rebuild it the exact same way it was when we all know it will wash away again,” says Nicole, who lives a few houses down from the part of the road that was destroyed.

She says rebuilding it back to its previous state and hoping it fairs better next time a storm comes is wishful thinking.

“This road is very fragile and I just think it is a waste of money to fix it this way,” she adds.

The county’s public works director Spencer Anderson acknowledges that the area’s long-term shoreline resiliency is something that needs to be addressed, but right now the focus is on getting the road back open to the public.

“All we can be reimbursed for with the federal and state hurricane emergency funds is to replace what was there before,” says Anderson.

This is now the third time in the last decade parts of the road have been damaged. The county had a consultant do a study in 2020 after damage from Hurricane Irma. The study ultimately recommended a no-build alternative, but also offered a few other options, including protecting 1,100 feet of the road with steel and concrete walls, which would cost approximately $2.7 million, and shifting a particularly vulnerable part of the road away from the beach, which would have cost approximately $1.9 million.

The county says the contractor has two weeks to get permits and design plans in place, and then the construction is expected to take another two weeks, before the road can ultimately be opened back up hopefully at the end of October.