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Sarasota News Leader July 12, 2013 OPINION To ensure minimal impact to merchants, shoppers and the general public, city staff and the contractor are coordinating very closely. Our many restaurants, caf├ęs and shops will remain open during this time, so please continue to patronize them. Page 83 ity company to have a coordinated plan and work closely with the other utilities to ensure the successful relocation of all these service lines. Timing and communication will be essential. Even with the best coordination efforts, though, unexpected events can occur. We ask residents to be patient during this OLD BRADENTON ROAD IMPROVEMENTS project, which is expected to be completed For years, the city and residents in the Bayou in January 2014. Oaks neighborhood in north Sarasota have While Old Bradenton Road will remain open wanted to calm traffic along Old Bradenton during construction, we strongly encourage Road, the main arterial road bisecting their non-local drivers to use alternate routes. neighborhood from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way to University Parkway. Now, it is about to City staff continues to work with the neighborhood association regarding its desire to happen, but it will be a complex project. officially rename the entire length of the roadNot only will Old Bradenton Road be recon- way "Old Bradenton Road." The association figured into a two-lane divided roadway with has completed the signature requirements; the a 5-foot raised median with landscaping and request will be presented to the City Commisdrip irrigation, roundabouts will be construct- sion this month. After successful completion ed at Myrtle Avenue as well as 47th Street. The of the entire process, the new name will approject will make the area pedestrian- and pear on all street name signs as part of the bike-friendly, with sidewalks and bicycle lanes project. added on both sides of the road. (The bike lanes will be painted green, a new concept in Enduring construction can be a challenge. bicycle safety and the first of its kind in Sara- That is why we are coordinating with numerous groups in advance to ensure any disrupsota.) tions are kept to a minimum. We plan to proMitigation of tree loss is planned along the vide the public with regular updates on both right of way and will adhere to the city's tree projects via the city's website, direct emails, ordinance. Also, four Sarasota County Area traditional news media and social media. Transit bus shelters will be added along Old Please sign up to receive email updates by Bradenton Road, which is a major route for visiting, and follow SCAT. the progress on Twitter @CityofSarasota as The complex nature of this project revolves we move forward, making Sarasota an even around the relocation of a multitude of util- more desirable and livable community. ities along the entire path. City of Sarasota Bill Nichols is the Old Bradenton Road projwater and sewage lines will be moved as well ect manager. as Verizon, Comcast and TECO Peoples Gas lines. City staff has met with all the parties Richard Winder is the downtown improveinvolved, and the expectation is for each util- ments project manager. %

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