Legacy Trail over Laurel Road Pedestrian Overpass

The Legacy Trail Over Laurel Road Pedestrian Overpass is PGA’s first completed pedestrian bridge and serves as a major success story for our firm, FDOT District One, Sarasota County, and the active community that now enjoys this beautiful facility. PGA was the prime design consultant, converting the at-grade crossing of Legacy Trail and Laurel Road to a trail bridge overpass. The project was needed to separate the extensive motor traffic on Laurel Road and the ever-increasing bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the Legacy Trail. The intersection of these two facilities created a significant safety issue between motor traffic and trail users. The pedestrian overpass eliminated the possibility of these conflicts.

The complexity of the project was attributed to limited R/W, residential development, major utility involvement, an existing trail crossing of a major roadway, and funding constraints. The PGA Team took a context sensitive approach focusing on preservation of historical/scenic conditions, collaboration with key stakeholders; noise/vibration consideration during construction, accelerated bridge construction evaluation, impact to existing users; development of an economical and constructible structure, and aesthetic features to blend with the existing surroundings. Other challenges included an aggressive design schedule with funding constraints and close coordination with utility stakeholders, Sarasota County, the Sarasota-Manatee MPO and FDOT.

The design incorporated an innovative trail alignment that reduced the bridge length which allowed for continuous use of part of the existing Legacy Trail. The design also minimized construction adjacent to the residential area Calusa Park and a commercial business offering propane gas sales. The structure is innovative in the use of a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) system that eliminated the use of pile foundation. This structure not only is the first GRS pedestrian bridge in FL, but it is also the tallest GRS bridge in the state.