A significant step was taken today (3/5/21) as the asphalt paving was begun on Segment 1 of the trail extension. Paving started at Weber St. this morning and is progressing north towards Bahia Vista Blvd. This picture was taken around noon, so you can see that they are making good progress!
The new protected bike lanes on each side of Ringling Blvd will provide a safe bicycle route from the northern end of The Legacy Trail near Payne park to central downtown Sarasota near the location of the Saturday Farmers Market! The bike lanes will go from Lime Ave. to S. Pineapple Ave. Many thanks to the Sarasota city commissioners for approving this project and to the city staff for their diligent and thorough work to make this happen.
An online survey on the proposal gathered 700 responses, 95% of which supported redesigning Ringling to better accommodate bikes. Dan Ohrenstein, Assistant City Engineer, stated “I would challenge anyone to find an issue in society today that has that much positivity.”
The work is expected to cost $900,000 for design and construction, and to be completed by the end of this year, in time for the opening of The Legacy Trail. A more permanent landscaped design will be considered at a later time.
A historic Ringling train car has been moved into place at the Venice Train Depot today. With the help of numerous donors, the Venice Area Historical Society brought the retired circus train car to the Train Depot campus and is donating it to Sarasota County for viewing by the public.
Additional pictures by Mike Soltis and the Venice Historical Society:
The Trail Extension Construction From Above
Check out this new drone video taken by Brett Koppes, the “Sarasota Drone Guy.” Thank you Brett!
by Roger Normand
It is incredibly exciting to see the transformation of an abandoned rail corridor into the extension of the Legacy Trail. These recent photos taken at trail end by Culverhouse Nature Park show the contractor has stripped the overgrown vegetation within the construction footprint, and redefined the shape, depth and pitch of the drainage ditch of both sides of the rail bed. Then this huge, articulated mulcher makes quick work of shredding the vegetation in place.
Update 7/9/20: Click here for video of event.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction of the north Legacy Trail Extension is scheduled for this Thursday July 9 at 10:30 a.m. Attendance at the event is restricted due to Covid-19 concerns, however, everyone can watch via a live event on the Sarasota County Facebook page.
Details for accessing this event are given below:
At this time, our community is encouraged to stay close to home and limit their interactions. During these challenging times, we understand the need to get outside, soak up some fresh air and get exercise. When enjoying The Legacy Trail, there are several actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe:
- Follow the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet.
- Keep single-file when walking or biking
- Avoid congregating
- If there are people at a stop station, keep going
- If the trailhead looks busy, come another time
- Bring your own water so you don’t have to use drinking fountains
- Practice “pack it in, pack it out” so you don’t have to use the trash receptacles
- Bring hand wipes or sanitizer
And finally, be smart, stay safe and don’t travel far from home. Our hospitals, resources and emergency services are being utilized in other capacities. It’s important to keep yourself safe while recreating.
Sarasota County is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) is in regular communication with the county Health Department and continues to receive updates related to its operations.
Things are changing daily, so for the latest information on COVID-19 in Sarasota County, please visit scgov.net/COVID.
Your Donation Dollars at Work
After discussion with management of Sarasota County Parks, FLT has purchased and donated to the county a Stand-On Debris Blower for use on The Trail. Mowing & storms cause The Trail to be littered with debris. This will help to make the trail safer and also help to prevent flat tires.
Check out this video to see this amazing machine in action!
A celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony were held on Friday November 15 to mark the official opening. We hope all trail users will enjoy this new trail amenity sponsored by the Jelks Foundation and Friends of The Legacy Trail. See map here for location.
by Jay Castle
June 28, 2019
On your mark…get set…GO! Officials from Sarasota County, City of Sarasota, City of North Port, and other honored guests kicked off the “Race to Completion” of the Legacy Trail with food, speeches and interactive exhibits.
This special event marked the County’s acquisition of the right of way for the Trail extension from the Culverhouse Nature Center, just south of Clark Road, north up to Fruitville Road. Attendees enjoyed a lovely summer morning in Payne Park while receiving the latest information on the property acquisition as well as construction plans.
Sarasota County Commission Chair Charles Hines told the assembled crowd that “the Trail offers a chance to commune with nature, it builds a sense of community, and it honors the rich history of our County… that’s why we voters overwhelmingly approved the bond referendum. It showed us … that [the Trail] is just as important to our community as anything else…It is paramount to our Board to get this project up and running as quickly as possible.”
Sarasota County Director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Director Nicole Rissler added that “Since the passing of the referendum, Sarasota County staff have worked tirelessly – and I really mean tirelessly – to bring the Legacy Trail extension to life…when complete, the extension will create nearly 30 miles of continuous, non-motorized, paved, multi-use trail enhancing connectivity from North Port through Venice to downtown Sarasota and include improvements such as crossings and overpasses at Clark Road and at Bee Ridge, amenities, and increased accessibility.”
Friends of Legacy Trail (FLT) has played an integral part in this process, and we participated in the “Race To Completion” kickoff by sharing information and handouts with attendees. FLT President Louis Kosiba noted that “this is a great day for the Legacy Trail. The County has now acquired the land we need for the extension into downtown Sarasota, and it won’t be too long before Trail users can travel directly from North Port through the Venice Train Depot to Payne Park. Our early vision from way back in 2008 is growing clearer and closer to reality.”