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Date of Issue: December 03, 2008

Bridge Street dune under foot

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Walk over, not on?
Bradenton Beach City Commissioner Janie Robertson says she wants the city to look at the costs associated with building a walkover for the dunes at the beach end of Bridge Street. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

Many times a day — most frequently at sunset — feet trample over the dune at the west end of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach.

“The dune there is getting eroded by traffic,” said Commissioner Janie Robertson, who wants the city to investigate the feasibility of building a walkover at the site. “People are just plowing through it and I think we need to do something about protecting that dune.”

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection put the brakes on a walkover design previously proposed at the site.

But Robertson said the old plan was “way too much” and she proposed considering a scaled-back, simple design to accommodate people on foot, in wheelchairs or with walkers.

“I think we can get a ramp and a walkover in this area without taking any trees,” she said.

Building a walkover at the location will require designs from an engineer, approval from the DEP and city funding.

Robertson said the city set aside about $20,000 in its Community Redevelopment Agency budget for new trolley shelters on Gulf Drive that cannot be built due to objections from the Florida Department of Transportation.

Some of the set-aside money could be re-appropriated for the walkover.

“This is not going to cost $20,000,” she said.

Mayor Michael Pierce said city staff would need to review CRA rules to make sure the money could be used for a walkover.

City clerk Nora Idso said basically the CRA money must be used in the CRA district, which includes Bridge Street, and must be used for revitalization and enhancements in the district.

Robertson said of a walkway, “I just think it’s a win-win all the way around.”