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Date of Issue: January 30, 2008

Bridge rehab project expected to begin quietly

The $9.14 million, 400-day Florida Department of Transportation's rehabilitation of the Anna Maria Island bridge is expected to get off the ground Monday, Feb. 4, with little fanfare.

A more significant date is Sept. 29 - and the 45 days thereafter.

Sept. 29 is the date set by the DOT and contractor Quinn Construction Co. Inc. of Palmetto to close the bridge to vehicular traffic for 45 days while electrical and other repairs are made to the bascule. The DOT said this phase of the project is expected to end Nov. 13.

 Should completion of that work be delayed, however, it could mean the bridge will be closed during the traditionally busy Thanksgiving holiday and put the bridge close to the start of the winter tourist season. DOT officials have indicated they might temporarily allow vehicular traffic during the Thanksgiving holiday if repairs are not completed in time.

For the latest information about the project, the DOT has a Web site at www.amibridgerehab.com. The site has a link for members of the public to submit comments to the DOT.