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Date of Issue: January 07, 2009

MPO to consider bridge review committee

The Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan Planning Organization has been asked to study a recommendation from the Florida Department of Transportation to appoint a bridge review committee to examine any proposed architectural designs for a replacement to the Anna Maria Island Bridge.

At her final county commission meeting in November, then-Manatee County Commissioner Jane von Hahmann requested that such a committee be formed to review any proposed design for a new bridge.

The request was passed to the DOT, which has forwarded it to the MPO for consideration, DOT spokesperson Cindy Clemmons-Adente said.

MPO executive director Mike Howe said the MPO would likely consider the request at its January meeting.

According to von Hahmann, the review committee members would be selected primarily from the private sector, but would include some public officials.

She added that any review committee would first need to review DOT planning and the development and environment study of the proposed new bridge before it could begin any review of a proposed architectural style for the bridge.

The DOT said in December that it expects the PD&E to be finished this month. When completed, the study will be presented at a public forum on Anna Maria Island, which is expected to occur in March.

More than 60 percent of respondents to a DOT survey last year on a new AMI bridge said they prefer a high-rise structure as a replacement for the current bridge.