Story Tools

Date of Issue: December 06, 2007

Bridge grief, come next September

It’s pretty much set: We’re looking at a 45-day closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge beginning Sept. 29.

U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District bridge management specialist Michael Lieberum, though, is still a bit undecided on time of openings for the bridge for boats.

And the adjacent Cortez Bridge.

Lieberum was present at a pair of meetings last week in Bradenton Beach. He’s a mild-mannered guy with a big smile but, at a meeting with about 20 Florida Department of Transportation officials, contractors from Quinn Construction - the company that’s doing the work on then bridge - and others, he was definitely the 800-pound gorilla.

You need the 45-day closure? Liberum asked the contractors.

I visualize painting on one span, dealing with steel on the other, with all of it taking 45 days, Quinn’s Tom Quinn said.

Lock down for boats? Liberum asked.

After a lot of discussion, it would appear that 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. 2 will be bridge closure to the Anna Maria Island Bridge. Closure time might change, but Liberum appeared to be leaning toward on-the-hour timing, with on-the-half-hour closures for the Cortez Bridge.

No changes in openings are anticipated for the Longboat Pass Bridge.