St. Armands

Residents Association

New Utility Poles

November 30, 2023

Utility work just north of St. Armands Key, on John Ringling Pkwy through Lido Shores, created a traffic backup all the way to downtown. They were installing new utility poles for storm hardening and had to close the southbound lane of traffic to do this.  This work was stopped when the Town of Longboat Key contacted FDOT who determined that the contractor did not have authorization to be doing that work at that time.  This followed three days of similar utility work on N Washington Dr which surprised and inconvenienced many residents.  

January 11, 2024

We were informed that this utility work is scheduled to resume on John Ringling Pkwy this coming Monday, January 15th, and last through February 5th (3 week duration), with work being performed at night, from 7pm to midnight, to lessen the disruption to traffic. Traffic will be diverted via flaggers onto the Northbound Lane for the duration of the closure. Heading to or from Longboat after 7pm? Be sure to allow yourself extra time.

Once complete, they will be doing similar work on Ken Thompson Pkwy on City Island, from February 5th to February 19th (2 week duration). There is no word yet on when they will resume work on N Washington Dr on St. Armands.

January 14, 2024

We received word that the utility work set to begin tomorrow on John Ringling Pkwy through the Lido Shores neighborhood to the north of St. Armands Key, and on Ken Thompson Pkwy on City Island, won't begin each evening until 9pm, and will continue up to 5am. We were previously informed that the work would begin each day at 7pm, and would continue to midnight.

They've also changed the order in which the work will be performed as follows:

    • Ken Thompson Pkwy on City Island: Jan 15-19 (1 week)
    • John Ringling Pkwy through Lido Shores: Jan 22-Feb 19 (4 weeks)

During this overnight work, one lane of traffic will be closed, with flaggers present to direct traffic. As before, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please direct them to the City of Sarasota Public Works, Engineering Division at

January 25, 2024

Many St. Armands residents in the Northwest Quadrant woke up to no water.

From the city:  This was apparently caused by the crane that FPL had on the site to replace/install the power pole. [City] Utilities was not doing any work in the area. The weight of the crane broke the 3” AC water main. Our on call guys were able to get a wrap on the broken main but it was actually broken in two places. We’ve got a section of pipe and hymax couplings out there now and should have water back on within the hour. We’ll issue a boil water notice once the repair is completed.

One resident experienced waste water backing up through their drains.

From the city:  During the installation of the power pole FPL crews damaged the lateral serving the house. The rock used to fill in around the pole was inside the broken lateral. We have a crew enroute to the site to redirect the lateral around the new pole.

February 7, 2024

A resident spoke to the linesmen last night and reported the following information:

    • It appears that they intend to leave the original concrete poles in place next to the new poles. 
    • They also confirmed that the old concrete poles are bowing and leaning. 
    • The purpose of leaving the old poles is that they host the communication lines such as cable and phone, whereas the linesmen are working on electricity. 
    • Therefore, the plan is to cut the old poles to a height just above the current lines. 
    • They intend to leave both poles, and this applies to all the poles down Washington. 
    • They were scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do with the cables that run to the houses. 
    • It seems they are still trying to figure it out, so cutting the poles is the first solution. 
    • I have a couple of concerns about leaving the old poles. Firstly, knowing that the concrete pole is bowing and leaning leaves me wondering if it is safe, particularly during high winds. I am not an engineer, but it seems it would be unstable during a hurricane.
    • Secondly, having two poles next to each other, with one shorter and warped, is not aesthetically pleasing for our neighborhood. Even the linesmen pointed this out. However, they do not have any authority to make changes to the project.

Another resident has reported to the City that the contractors have been beginning work before 9pm and working on N Blvd of Presidents and N Washington Dr, neither of which are in the scope of work of the revised city permit.  This picture of that intersection was taken last night at 7:30pm:

February 9, 2024

Residents were awakened at 3am by utility crews using a powered concrete saw to cut off the top of one of the existing concrete utility poles.  This was done outside the scope of the permit, in violation of the city noise ordinance, and residents were given no advance notice with this being done before a school day and work day.  

February 26-29, 2024

After two weeks off, utility crews returned to St. Armands Key--this time during the day--blocking off one southbound lane of N Blvd of Presidents (state road) and part of N Washington Dr (city street).  The last known permit for this work expired a week ago and did not include this work on these roads.  If there is a new or amended permit, it is not shown on the City's ROW GIS mapping application. 

Flaggers, while present, were sitting in a truck and not keeping pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists from entering the coned off areas while work with heavy objects was occurring over their heads. 

One resident, while taking a picture of the activity, was yelled at by one of the workers up in a bucket who said something like:  "you complained when we were working at night, and now you're going to complain that we're working during the day."

Flagger present, but sitting on truck tailgate:

Pedestrians and cyclist allowed in work area, with heavy objects being used and manipulated overhead:

Residential streets completely blocked off with no valid permit posted online:

Worker yells at resident from bucket about the complaints that have been made:

February 28, 2024

In response to a resident complaint about the lack of a valid permit, the previous permit was revised for a third time (click here to view) with extended dates.

March 1, 2024

Residents receive robo-calls announcing that power may be turned off for up to four hours on Monday.  Questions are directed to "the office coordinating this outage" at 941-779-4139.

March 4, 2024

Residents without power for up to four hours.  Emails received from FPL.

March 5, 2024

Resident reported that scheduled trash pickup and lawn care service was unable to reach property.  Lawn care provider told by utility crew that residents should have known they would be there and should have known to reschedule.  Residents have been complaining since November that they haven't know what, when, or where to expect any of this.

March 18, 2024

Limited work occurred around 7:30pm, seemingly outside the date range of the revised permit.

March 29, 2024

Apparently the utility crew was unable to remove the older poles that held the cable line crossing N Blvd of Presidents and transferring data to all of Longboat Key.  Unfortunately, the old poles were left leaning inwards, causing the cable line to sag.  A passing truck snagged the cable line, knocking out Internet and cable TV to all of Longboat Key for approximately four hours.  This occurred on Good Friday afternoon and evening before Easter, during the televised March Madness tournament.

St. Armands Residents Association

P.O. Box 2482, Sarasota, FL  34230

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