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Date of Issue: December 17, 2008

DOT plans Gulf Drive resurfacing next year

Island motorists already used to traffic delays for bridge renovations, installation of water, sewer and gas lines and reconfigurations of intersections can expect more of the same if the Florida Department of Transportation starts a $5.6 million resurfacing of State Road 789 beginning in 2009.

DOT District One Secretary Stan Cann included the resurfacing project when he presented the DOT’s tentative five-year work plan for Manatee County to the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitian Planning Organization at its Dec. 15 meeting. The projects have been listed in previous five-year plans.

Cann said the resurfacing would be two separate projects, but both are in the tentative 2009 work program.

The DOT plans to spend $3.2 million resurfacing State Road 789 (Gulf Drive) for 2,117 feet from south of Cortez Road to State Road 64 (Manatee Avenue). A separate tentative work program for 2009 will resurface 1,650 feet of State Road 789 from the Longboat Key Bridge to the point of the other project south of Cortez Road. Funding for both projects is already in place, according to Cann.

But the projects have not yet been put out to bid, he said. The earliest bid date is July 1, 2009, the start of the fiscal year, while the last date for bidding is June 30, 2010.

Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization executive director Mike Howe said the projects have to be bid in the fiscal year or they go back into the five-year plan.

The DOT also plans to spend $45,000 for landscaping at various Island locations in 2009 and $326,000 in 2010.

Also in the tentative work program for 2011-12 is a .686 mile resurfacing of State Road 64 (Manatee Avenue) from east of the site of the former Perico Harbor Marina to east of Bristol Bay Drive. The cost was estimated at $1.2 million.

Perhaps the most anticipated project in the tentative program is a $5.6 million rehabilitation of the Cortez Bridge, currently scheduled to begin in 2013-14. The environmental study and design would take place in 2012-13.

Howe said that, while the project is in the plan, it’s a long way down the road.

“Generally, the earlier year the project is in, the more likely it is to happen,” he said.

The DOT’s five-year plan is updated every year and presented annually to the MPO.