Lena Road and 44th Avenue Extension Committee
Lena Rd & 44th Avenue Projects
The Lena Road and 44th Avenue Project, titled Project #6 on the Manatee Website, is actually two separate projects. The first is the continuation of 44th Avenue East past the rear entrance to Rosedale. The second project is connecting the section of Lena Road from SR70 to the section of Lena Road from SR64, making it a frontage road from SR 70 to SR64. The County has approved plans for both projects.
Continuation of 44th Avenue to US Route 301
The 44th Avenue Project is the continuation of 44th Avenue East over I75, past our rear entrance and continuing to Lakewood Ranch Blvd. The roadway will be 4 lanes with a grass medium, sidewalks, bike lanes and street lighting.
This project has been going on for several years, with portions of this project completed. Project 5, going on now, continues 44th from Lockwood Ridge and connecting it to Creekwood Blvd, which is west of I75. This portion of the project is nearing completion.
Project 6, which impacts Rosedale, is the final stage of this project and will connect 44th from Creekwood Blvd., over I75, and finish at our 44th Ave. E exit. This portion of the project is expected to begin January 2023. There is no definitive timeline for this project but it is expected to take 2 - 2.5 years, or completion in early-to-mid 2025.
Traffic counts for 44th Ave over time are expected to be 26,000 vehicles per day, comparable to traffic volume on Lakewood Ranch Blvd. When completed, it will impact residents exiting Rosedale onto 44th by substantially increasing the volume of traffic by our rear exit.
As it stands now, there is not a traffic signal planned for our 44th Ave.
Continuation of Lena Road
The extension of Lena Road is planned to be 2 lanes and will have a posted speed limit of 35 mph. When completed this project will impact residents exiting Rosedale onto SR70 as traffic on Lena Road wishing to go east on S70 will turn left onto the 54th Drive East (behind Norman’s Liquors) and right onto 87th Street East (our exit). The traffic estimate for the southern portion of Lena Road is 5,000 vehicles per day.
Construction of the Lena Road extension will not begin until the completion of 44th, and is expected to take 2 to 2-1/2 years to complete.
What are we doing about it?
A Rosedale Master Home Owners Association (RMHOA) committee, headed by Fred Booth, is communicating with the county staff and commissioners to help facilitate alternative traffic designs that will eliminate potentially dangerous and unnecessary traffic accidents at the Rosedale exits.
Pushing for a traffic light at our 44th Gate should continue to be emphasized by Rosedale residents. There will be a light at Creekwood and 44th but currently no light east until Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Our request for a traffic light at our 44th Ave entrance/exit area seems reasonable to Public Works personnel but is not currently in the budget. County staff and Commissioners are aware of our request. As well, we should continue to voice our need for the light to the commissioners. The RMHOA Board is working in concert with the RCC to help facilitate resident participation at County Commission meetings.
We are also pushing for signage on Lena Rd to set weight or axel limits on 54th Drive East (behind Normans Liquors). The county is contemplating such signage.
The RMHOA has hired a traffic consultant to review the 700-page project plan to better understand its implications for Rosedale and to identify additional changes we can suggest to protect the community.
To provide updated information to all affected communities impacted by these changes, the county has created Websites with information on both projects. The Lena Road Extension Project Website can be accessed at https://lena-road-extension-project-manateegis.hub.arcgis.com/, The 44th Street to US Route 301 Connector Project is https://44thaveeast.com. Both will offer folks the opportunity to subscribe to receive automatic email notification of any updated information. The County also plans to hold a public hearing in the January time frame regarding 44th.
We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the committee and the projects.
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