Florida Department of Transportation and Manatee County have accelerated the schedule for a constructing a roundabout at State Road 64 and Greyhawk Boulevard/Pope Road by three years.
Construction that was previously set to begin in 2023 has been jumped to the spring of 2020, according to an FDOT press release.
The roundabout would replace an intersection considered dangerous by many motorists, and which has too often turned deadly.
FDOT data shows there have been 19 crashes there in four years, including two fatal accidents, the most recent in 2018 that claimed the lives of two teenagers.
Frequent crashes at the intersection prompted residents to circulate a petition calling for safety improvements. More than 3,000 added their signatures to the petition.
FDOT, District One, announced Tuesday that it will be hosting a public hearing regarding interim safety improvements made at the intersection.
The interim improvement consists of closing the westbound left turn from State Road 64 onto Pope Road, using temporary devices until construction of the roundabout begins.
The hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 26, at Bayside Community Church, 15800 S.R. 64 beginning with an open house at 5 p.m. during which staff will be available to discuss the project and answer questions. A formal hearing presentation is planned for 6 p.m., after which participants may provide their verbal comments.
Attendees will have the opportunity to review project displays and speak one-on-one with project team members about the proposed safety improvements.
Anyone who requires special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Cynthia Sykes, District One Title VI Coordinator, at 863-519-2287, or e-mail at Cynthia.Sykes@dot.state.fl.us at least seven days prior to the public meeting.