Long-awaited project bridges the Pinecraft community in Sarasota County
The $1.8 million structure, paid for with extra sales-tax percentage, spans Phillippi Creek.
There’s an easier way to get around the Pinecraft community these days.
The Pinecraft community and Sarasota County celebrated the completion of the Pinecraft Pedestrian Bridge on Sept. 6 with a ribbon cutting. The bridge connects the Phillippi Creek Levee Trail to the county owned property at the end of Graber Avenue.
The eight-foot-wide steel bridge is the result of a yearslong project meant to provide better connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists to the two areas. Multiple county departments and the community worked together to make the project a reality.
“This is an incredible project, and we’re so proud here at Sarasota County to have made this happen,” said Sarasota County District 2 Commissioner Mark Smith. “This bridge is truly symbolic in that it does link our communities together.”
The bridge and surrounding landscaping cost $1,856,842 to complete. The project was funded by the county’s Surtax III program. The Surtax program was originally approved by voters in 1989 to add a 1% sales surtax on top of the state’s 6% sales tax until 1999. Surtax II was extended by voters in 1997 for the period of 1999 to 2009.
Surtax III was extended by voters in 2007 until 2024, and Surtax IV was voted on in 2022 to extend the program until 2039. Proceeds from the surtax can only be used to invest in public infrastructure projects such as public safety, the environment, water quality, libraries, parks, schools and roads.
More information on the county’s surtax program can be found at https://bit.ly/3PvL7FL.
“The Pinecraft community draws residents and visitors from all over to work, and play and to live in Sarasota County. This was truly a collaborative effort between the community members and county staff and the Pinecraft steering committee to bring this bridge to fruition,” said Sarasota County Board of County Commissioner Chair Ron Cutsinger. “Our grandkids’ great-grandkids and even their children will be walking across this bridge many years from now.”
The bridge was designed by DMK Associates, Inc. and it was constructed by American Empire Builders, Inc.