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April 22, 2022 | Press Releases

Rep. Steube Commends River Road Expansion Project in Sarasota County

VENICE, Fla. — U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) today joined state and local leadership to commemorate the long awaited groundbreaking of the River Road expansion project.

The River Road Design-Build Project is an overhaul to improve traffic flow, safety and drainage in a fast-growing area that is getting underway on part of River Road (State Road 777), following decades of planning by state and local leaders. The project begins major improvements on River Road from US 41 to I-75 in Venice.

“Today it’s a privilege to see the River Road expansion project through after years of advocating for it in the Florida legislature. River Road will soon give SW Floridians a more reliable hurricane evacuation route and alleviate major congestion during our commutes,” said U.S. Representative Greg Steube. “Thank you to Governor DeSantis, Secretary Perdue and Secretary Nandam for carrying out this critical investment in our corner of the state and to all Sarasota leadership over the years for their partnership and support of the River Road expansion project. It’s a monumental day for Sarasota County.”

“District One has always worked extensively with our partners to move the needle in improving lives and bringing the best multi-modal solutions to the communities we serve,” FDOT District One Secretary L.K. Nandam said. “We are excited to provide everyone who will use River Road an innovative and safer roadway that will help keep Florida moving now and far into the future.”

“Thanks to Sarasota County and the Florida Department of Transportation’s creative collaboration, the long-awaited River Road widening is underway. This project has been a top regional priority for many years, supported by many partners including our State and Federal legislators, the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), City of North Port, West Villages Special Service District, the City of Venice, our neighbors in Charlotte County and others,” said Sarasota County District Five Commissioner and Board of County Commissioners Vice Chairman Ron Cutsinger.

“The additional lanes will greatly improve traffic flow and safety along with providing a much-needed hurricane evacuation route for all of South County,” Commissioner Cutsinger added. “The pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists will be a beautiful and welcome amenity for residents and visitors alike. A special thanks to all who made this day possible.”

Project Details
A two-lane, undivided roadway, River Road is a main connector for commuters, visitors and truck drivers traveling between Interstate 75, US 41, State Road 776 and natural destinations in the area. The road is used heavily by those in North Port, Englewood and increasing developments including the West Villages and Wellen Park. River Road also is an evacuation route for Englewood, North Port and Venice.

Today, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District One celebrates the importance to the region of the 5-mile, River Road Design-Build Project. FDOT is widening River Road to six lanes between US 41 and Center Road, and to four lanes between Center Road and I-75. To enhance safety, work includes installing raised, grassed medians, streetlights, a 10-foot-wide shared use path on both sides of the roadway and “alighting areas,” or concrete pads to accommodate boarding buses.

The corridor also provides access to Jelks Preserve, Blue Heron Park and other natural areas. This $47.5 million project includes two wildlife crossings in the form of culverts under the road that will allow animals to pass safely under traffic. The wildlife crossings will be located north of Tempest Harbor Loop and north of Stoneycreek Boulevard.

Construction began on February 7, 2022 and is scheduled to finish in early 2025.