Pothole

PHOTO BY BOB MUDGE

Rainwater splashes out of a pothole hit by this car on East Venice Avenue in front of Twin Palms Plaza in December. The eastbound lanes — particularly the outside lane — are in bad shape, but help is on the way. Repaving is scheduled for late September.

East Venice Avenue nearest Tamiami Trail is getting repaved, according to Sarasota County Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham.

That announcement was made this week after a Venice businessman made it his mission to complain about a rough segment of East Venice Avenue that he says has been neglected for at least five years.

East Venice Avenue is in the City of Venice but is maintained by the county. When local businessman and Venice resident Paul Sloan complained last year about the condition of the road he didn’t know that. So he contacted the county.

The county responded that it was in poor condition due to poor resurfacing by a contractor, and that it would be at least 2020 before it was repaved.

Sloan brought up the subject again recently when he saw a couple of complaints about the roadway in the Gondolier Sun. He again contacted the mayor of Venice and Sarasota County executives, this time charging the county with “gross incompetence” for ignoring a section of roadway well known for its potholes and shoddy repairs.

In response, Venice Mayor John Holic asked City Manager Ed Lavallee to look into the matter, and used his mayoral pulpit, albeit via email, to encourage a more positive response from the county.

“I don’t think any of the roads we resurfaced in Venice were in as poor condition as that section of road,” Holic said, referring to the bond passed by a few years ago by Venice voters to repave local roadways.

In an email response back to the mayor this week, Cunningham said the repaving of a half mile on East Venice Avenue, from U.S. 41 to Cherry Street, will start in late September or early October.

The project, Cunningham said, was on the county’s FY19 list of road projects awaiting “increment” funding and recently went out to bid.

“It is expected that the contract for this increment will be awarded at the end of August 2019, and the work should begin towards the end of September 2019. The resurfacing work should be complete by the end of 2019 or early next year,” he said.

Sloan said he drives that segment of road often and was glad to hear the news. But just in case there’s another delay, he’s ready to send another email.

Email: ggiles@venicegondolier.com

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