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Date of Issue: December 02, 2009

Sidewalk sought from Kingfish to beach

Once improvements to the Kingfish Boat Ramp are completed this month, the new sidewalk along Manatee Avenue from the Anna Maria Island Bridge to the boat ramp will end at Westbay Cove North.

But Holmes Beach Commissioner David Zaccagnino said he’s had a different plan for four years. Zaccagnino is trying to get the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization to consider a project that would extend the sidewalk to Gulf Drive and the Manatee Public Beach.

“In the summer, there’s a lot of high traffic, a lot of people walking up and down on that side of Manatee Avenue,” Zaccagnino said. “That’s what I’m working on, and something I hope to get going.”

The main obstacles will be funding and Florida Department of Transportation permitting, Zaccagnino said.

“There might be an opportunity with some money,” Zaccagnino said. “Apparently, the DOT at their meeting, they said there might be a possibility where we might get a second round of stimulus funding for projects.”

Zaccagnino hopes to get the sidewalk project on the MPO agenda. The DOT would then pick the project from a list recommended by the MPO.

But DOT permitting, Zaccagnino said, is a huge obstacle.

At a recent Palma Sola Scenic Highway Committee meeting, Keith Bettcher of the county’s natural resource department said all the work except the lighting at the Kingfish ramp should be completed by Dec. 9.

Bettcher expected the lighting to be completed by Dec. 16.

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