About the Project

The Town of Longboat Key is taking all overhead utility lines along Gulf of Mexico Drive and in the surrounding neighborhoods and placing them underground. Known as The Gulf of Mexico Drive (GMD) Project, this “undergrounding” project includes moving FPL, Comcast, and Frontier lines underground as well as having the contractor install a town-wide fiber optic network and smart pole street lighting. These utility upgrades and enhanced technology are consistent with the referendum and will take place along the entire length of the barrier island.


Slide your mouse across the picture below to see the difference that undergrounding makes.

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Project Background

The Town of Longboat Key is 16 square miles with almost 7,000 people calling the Town home year-round. During the peak winter/tourist season, the population increases to approximately 22,000. The island economy is driven by businesses serving tourists and seasonal residents.

In November of 2015, the town conducted two referenda that received voter approval to borrow $25,250,000 to pay for the undergrounding of utilities along the GMD Project, and the neighborhoods streets, known as the Neighborhood Project. The two projects are referred to as the GMD Project and are occurring simultaneously, however, in order to meet financing requirements they are being accounted for separately.

As each parcel in the Town depends on GMD as the main thoroughfare to and from the island, all parcels located within Town limits benefit from the GMD Project. Most properties receive their electric from GMD feeder lines. Therefore, any improvements in safety and reliability of these lines is also a benefit to all properties. The Town is in the process of implementing the project. For more information on the non-ad special assessment please call Town Hall at 941-316-1999.

Project Limits

The GMD Project is a ten-mile section of Gulf of Mexico Drive (GMD)/SR 789 from Longboat Club Road on the south end to North Shore Road on the north end. The northern half of the Town is in Manatee County, while the southern half is in Sarasota County. The GMD is the main thoroughfare that runs North/South through the Town. Utilities are located within the right-of-way of this main thoroughfare and also along power poles that line neighborhood streets.

Project Phasing

Construction for the project has been divided into 4 phases.

  • Phase 1: Country Club Shores
  • Phase 2: The Village South to Dream Island Road
  • Phase 3: Buttonwood Cove North to County Line
  • Phase 4: Dream Island Rd South to County Line

Get phase specific info by clicking its location on the map.

Phase 1

Ongoing project activities:

  • FPL continued undergrounding construction along Gulf of Mexico Drive extending from Longboat Club Road to Putter Lane
  • Frontier continues to relocate their utility lines and expects to be complete by spring of 2020
  • Comcast has provided their design plans and confirmed permits
  • TECO started installation of new lines on Yawl Lane
  • Longboat Key Utilities is onsite and assisting to minimize interruptions to utility services
  • Wilco is finalizing their utility undergrounding construction of the feeder conduits along Gulf of Mexico Drive and continues working in nearby neighborhoods and side streets. This work also includes the installation of fiber data, streetlights and electrical utility cables

Phase 4

Ongoing project activities:

  • FPL is working to finalize utility designs. Projected completion of Phase 4 design work is spring 2020
  • Frontier has completed their utility design work for this area and will be starting construction

Phase 3

Ongoing project activities:

  • FPL has submitted final design plans and cost estimates for review
  • Projected completion of Phase 3 design work is spring 2020
  • Frontier has completed their utility design work for this area and will be starting construction

Phase 2

Ongoing project activities:

  • FPL undergrounding construction has started along Gulf of Mexico Drive extending from Dream Island Road to Broadway Street
  • Frontier has started relocation of their utility lines.
  • Comcast has provided their design plans and confirmed permits for their work
  • Wilco is finalizing utility undergrounding construction of the feeder conduits along Gulf of Mexico Drive and continues working in nearby neighborhoods and side streets. This work also includes the installation of fiber data, streetlights and electrical utility cables

Working Together to Improve Safety, Reliability and Aesthetics.

Below are the agencies that are involved with this project. You will see their vehicles and crews throughout the duration of the project.