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Date of Issue: October 07, 2009

Coast Guard deadline near for AMI Bridge comments

Although any plans by the Florida Department of Transportation to begin construction of a replacement for the Anna Maria Island Bridge are years away — if not 10-20 or more years from now — the U.S. Coast Guard is inviting public comment on the DOT’s proposal.

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Comments are due to the Coast Guard Seventh District office in Miami by Oct. 9, a Coast Guard public notice stated.

The Coast Guard wants comments on the DOT’s environmental assessment of a replacement bridge, along with its recommended alternative of a high-level fixed-span bridge to replace the existing structure.

The Coast Guard said it has “made a tentative determination that the proposed action will not have a significant impact for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act.”

While review is continuing, the Coast Guard asked mariners and other interested parties to “express their views, in writing, on the proposed bridge project, including its possible impact on minority and/or low income population.”

Randall Overton of the Coast Guard Seventh District office in Miami said the request for comments is a routine requirement for the Coast Guard’s review.

If the DOT submits plans for a replacement bridge, public hearings will be held and more public comment will be solicited, he said.

The Coast Guard has jurisdiction over a replacement bridge as the waters under the bridge are part of the Intra-coastal Waterway system.

At present, the DOT has no allocation for a replacement bridge in its five-year plan that extends through 2014.

Comments for the record may be mailed to: Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 Southeast First Ave., Room 432, Miami FL 33131.

Comments may also be e-mailed to randall.d.overton@uscg.mil.