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Project Details
Phase: PD&E
Limits: Bird Key Drive to Sarasota Harbor West
Length: 0.75 miles
Study Cost: $800,366
Start of Current Phase: Late 2019

This project is associated with FPIDs 436680-1-22-01 & 436680-1-32-01.
This project involves the potential reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of the Little Ringling (State Road (SR) 789) bridges in Sarasota County to address structural integrity and operational deficiencies. SR 789 is classified as an Urban Minor Arterial and is currently a four-lane, divided roadway between Bird Key Drive and Sarasota Harbor West. The existing bridge currently has no shoulders or designated bicycle facilities across the bridge. SR 789 serves as the only connection from downtown Sarasota to St. Armands Key and Lido Key. The bridges cross Coon Key Waterway. The current bridges were constructed in 1958, and were most recently repaired in 2016.

The goal of this Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study is to evaluate and document potential engineering and environmental effects of any proposed replacement alternatives for the bridge. Improvements considered may include: a single bridge or twin bridges, as well as bicycle and pedestrian accommodations for both alternatives.

Need for the Project

The purpose of this project is to address bridge deficiencies due to deteriorating conditions, improve multimodal (bicycle and pedestrian) transportation options between downtown Sarasota and St. Armands/Lido Key, and to improve emergency evacuation and response times. SR 789 is a critical part of the emergency evacuation route network, designated by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the City of Sarasota. This project is included in the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Fiscal Years 2019/20 to 2023/24 as an MPO priority. It is also included in the Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan. The study area, including the bridge, was also identified in the Sarasota/Manatee Barrier Islands Study - Phase 2 Operations and Identifications (conducted in October 2018).

Project Funding

Funding for both the PD&E and Design phases is included in the FDOT's Tentative Five-Year Work Program (Fiscal Years 2022/23-2027/28). This project is also included in the FDOT State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP- Fiscal Years 2022/23 to 2025/26 ). Right-of-Way and Construction phases are not currently funded.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by FDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. § 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated May 26, 2022, and executed by FHWA and FDOT.

Public Involvement


Public involvement is an integral part of the Little Ringling (SR 789) Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study. FDOT will use various activities to engage interested parties in the study process and there will be a number of opportunities for public comment, including an alternatives public information meeting and a public hearing. Remember that you may also submit comments or questions about this project at any time during the study, by using the Send a comment button.

FDOT will hold meetings with agencies and stakeholders as needed throughout the study. These meetings will assist the study team with identifying issues, opportunities, and potential transportation solutions for the corridor. Throughout the study process, FDOT will provide presentations to various organizations; interested citizens may request a presentation to their group or organization by using the Send a comment button.

If you are interested in being added to the mailing list to receive study information, please use the “Send a Comment” button to provide your information to the project team.

Alternatives Public Workshop

FDOT held a public workshop for the Little Ringling (SR 789) PD&E Study, with a live in-person event on April 5, 2022 and a live virtual event on April 7, 2022. Materials were also available for review and comment through this website from March 29, 2022.

The workshop comment period is now closed, but you may still view an online copy of the materials presented on the "Project Documents" section below. To submit comments to be included in the general study record, use the "Send a Comment" button.

Public Hearing - March 21, 2024

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) held a public hearing for the Little Ringling (SR 789) Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study from Bird Key Drive to Sarasota Harbour West in Sarasota County on March 21, 2024. 

Comments can also be provided through the project webpage (www.swflroads.com/project/436680-1) or by email (Patrick.Bateman@dot.state.fl.us) or mail (FDOT District One, Attn: Patrick Bateman, P.E., MS 1-40, 801 N. Broadway Ave., Bartow, FL 33830). While comments about the project are accepted at any time, they must be received or postmarked by April 4, 2024, to be included in the formal hearing record. All comments are weighted equally. Questions can be answered by calling the FDOT project manager Patrick Bateman, P.E., at (863) 519-2792. 

Project documents will be available for public viewing from February 29, 2024, to April 4, 2024, at the Selby Library, 1331 1st St, Sarasota, FL 34236 and FDOT District One Manatee Operations Center, 14000 East SR 64, Bradenton, FL 34212. They will also be available on the project webpage.

View Factsheet
Contact Information
PD&E Project Manager
Patrick Bateman, PE
For Media Inquiries Only
Project Documents
Project Videos
Project Images
View from the bridge facing downtown Sarasota
Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay
Bird Key Park entrance sign
View between the bridges facing downtown Sarasota
View from the south side of the bridge facing St. Armands Circle
Bird Key Park facing downtown Sarasota
Project Map