North Sarasota Multi-Modal Connector Renderings

FDOT and Sarasota County are currently developing designs for an overpass over I-75 connecting Lakewood Ranch with Cattleman Road near Nathan Benderson Park. The project, named the North Sarasota Multimodal Connector (NSMC), is progressing past the 60% phase toward 90% plans. The renderings above show the current design concept. The overpass will include multi-modal paths for cyclists and pedestrians. No start or completion date is currently scheduled.

New Video Describing The Legacy Trail

Check out this beautiful new video about the current state of the trail and its value to the community. Many thanks to Rich Tyson of the Sarasota Bradenton RE Group for producing the video, and also thanks to Louis Kosiba, FLT President, for his presentation on the video!

Info Table on the Trail Saturdays (weather Permitting)

The seasonal Friends of The Legacy Trail information table is moving from its usual Bay Street location to the Ashton Street trailhead on the Legacy Trail at 4301 Ashton Street, about a block west of McIntosh Road. The table is open on most Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Parking is available at the trailhead and at the 360 Church on the east side of the Legacy Trail. We’ve just received a fresh batch of caps and t-shirts for sale. You’ll also find information on trail development, FLT memberships, FLT’s square foot campaign, and more. Stop by and see us!

Ride for a Better Community

The Ride for a Better Community supports the Venice Yacht Club’s Charitable Foundation with its support for Nutrition, Education and Shelter for Children, Veterans and Youth Boating. For more information, please visit our web site at: https://veniceyachtclub.com/vyccf.php

Join us for a 12 or 6 mile bicycle ride around Venice Island and breakfast on the bay to support:

  • All Faiths Food Bank 
  • Family Promise of Sarasota County 
  • Big Brothers & Big Sisters
  • Jewish Family & Children Services
  • Our Mother’s House
  • Family Haven
  • Special Ops. Warrior Foundation 
  • The Library Foundation for Sarasota County
  • Southeastern Guide Dogs
  • Venice High School MJROTC
  • ….and many others

Registration is $50 per rider (includes breakfast). Additional breakfasts are $16 each.

Florida Greenways and Trails

Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan Update

The Office of Greenways and Trails is updating the Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan, and the Opportunity and Priority maps. They have rescheduled their public meetings that were cancelled due to Hurricane Ian. The time and location of the Sarasota area meet is given below. If you are unable to attend, you can view their maps and timeline on their their website and send any comments to OfficeofGreenwaysandTrails@floridadep.gov. The public comment period will end after the last public meeting on February 16th 2023.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

DATE AND TIME: January 31, 2023, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

PLACE: Selby Public Library, 1331 1st St, Sarasota, FL 34236

Progress on the Design of Legacy Trail Overpasses at Clark and Bee Ridge Roads

FDOT presented their current concept for the design of these overpasses to county commissioners at their December 13 meeting. The plans are expected to be complete by the end of 2022, with construction to begin in the Fall of 2023. Both overpass projects are expected to be completed by November 2024.

Some noteworthy information from the meeting:

  • The overpasses will be 12 feet wide and use the same construction method as used for the Laurel Rd. overpass. This type of construction uses reinforced earth on the approaches to the mid-span. Click here for details of this method.
  • The design of the Clark Rd. overpass is influenced by the need for compatibility with a future project to straighten the McIntosh Road intersection at Clark Road. There is currently no funding for straightening the McIntosh intersection, so it is unlikely this project will start any time soon.
  • When the McIntosh Road intersection is straightened, it will be necessary for trail users to cross McIntosh immediately after (or before) crossing the overpass. One conceptual plan suggested by Spencer Anderson, Sarasota County Public Works Director, would be to slightly raise McIntosh Road and have the trail go under it (see conceptual images in gallery above).

Legacy Trail Cleanup After Hurricane Ian

Thanks to The Amazing Parks Staff for working hard to get the trail back into shape!

Sarasota County Parks has indicated that The Legacy Trail and the eastern (mainland) section of the Venetian Waterway Park are now open. Note that there is still work being done at the intersections, as some of them are not fully functioning.

The North Port Connector is now open!

The Venetian Waterway Park West (island side) had a large washout of a section of the trail near the airport (See below). The segment of this trail south of the Circus Bridge is now closed. The Army Corps of Engineers is set to begin reconstruction of the bank later this month. but this section will probably not open until the new year.

Washout on VWP-West south of Circus Bridge. Photo by Mike Soltis

UPDATE:

Thanks to Eugene Somogyi for this photo update! According to Megan from Sarasota County “The Army Corp of Engineers is nearly done with the washout repair work on the west side of the Venetian Waterway Park. Sod will soon be installed to stabilize the bank, and then work will continue to restore the concrete trail. The date for completion of this project is still to be determined.”


SUN Trail Alignment Surveys

You are invited to help plan for a safe, comfortable, and more connected regional bicycle/pedestrian trail system!

The Sarasota/Manatee MPO is working on two trail studies: the Manatee Trail Alignment Study and the Sarasota Trail Alignment Study. These planning studies focus on developing a network of biking and walking trails that will connect to schools, parks, transit stops, essential services, local attractions, and other key destinations.

Please help us by expressing your opinion on these surveys. Click here for more information and to take the surveys.  Thank you!

Bridge Over Deer Prairie Creek in North Port Now Installed (But Not Open Yet)

The steel truss bridge span over Deer Prairie Creek was installed on 11/3/22. Thanks to Brett Koppes for letting us know and for sending the above photos and amazing drone video of the installation. See map above for the location of the bridge. When completed, the bridge will allow access to the North Port Legacy Trail connector via the natural surface trail, now designated the Alphabet Trail (Sure beats walking over the weir!). Parking will be available at the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve South parking area, which can be accessed from Tamiami Trail.

According to Brett, the bridge will need additional concrete work and the parking area is still closed for the construction. Stay tuned for updates!

Friends of The Legacy Trail