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Date of Issue: December 10, 2008

DOT replacement bridge workshop Dec. 16

The Florida Department of Transportation won’t finalize the $10 million rehab project for the Anna Maria Island Bridge until April 2009, but the department will present a workshop to discuss the future of the bridge from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, in the fellowship hall at St. Bernard Catholic Church, Holmes Beach.

The DOT began a “project development and environment study” in November 2007 and indicated it would take about a year to complete the study and perform the engineering and environmental data analysis.

The DOT workshop plans include an audio-visual presentation explaining the various alternatives, including a low-level and mid-level drawbridge, a high-level fixed bridge and further rehabilitation options.

The “no-build” option of continued maintenance of the AMI Bridge remains a viable alternative, the DOT said.

The DOT announced that aerial photographs depicting the alternatives will be on display, and department representatives will be present to discuss the study.

Information stations will be staffed to take comments at the workshop, while comment forms and a study survey can either be completed at the workshop or taken home to submit to the DOT. The comments and survey must be submitted by Dec. 31.

For more information on the workshop, contact Chris Piazza, project engineer, at 863-519-2293. St. Bernard is located at 248 S. Harbor Drive.

The Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization will discuss budgeting for further rehab of the Cortez Bridge at its meeting at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15.