Bradenton Beach residents may notice increased activity in the next month.
As a stormwater improvements project continues in the north side neighborhood near Herb Dolan Park, Avenue A will be resurfaced — from the park south.
Also, installation of new trolley shelters at several Gulf Drive locations could begin as early as this week, said public works director Tom Woodard.
Additionally, an improved public parking lot near the public works and police departments between Highland Avenue and Church Street is nearly finished.
BB advances dunes projects
By Lisa Neff
High winds at high tides sprayed saltwater over Island streets last week, prompting Bradenton Beach commissioners to fortify their push for more dunes projects in the coming years.
Commissioners and Mayor Bob Bartelt assembled at city hall with city staff Oct. 19 for two regular meetings — one to discuss projects in the downtown community redevelopment district and one to discuss capital improvements.
Many Islanders were discussing the weather that windy Wednesday, including the city’s elected representatives, who shared reports of fish washing into streets, saltwater pooling in gardens and waves crashing against beachfront residences.
Outgoing Commissioner Janie Robertson, who has focused on dunes restoration and construction for the past six years, said she walked the beach Oct. 19.
At the beach access at Third Street South, she observed a 20-inch drop off. “It washed away last night,” she said of the sand at the location.
She said the multi-purpose trail that parallels the shore at Coquina and Cortez beaches “is threatened in three places, because water came out to the trail and started going underneath.”
Robertson said the situation illustrated why protecting existing dunes and building new dunes on the Gulf shore is vital. Where dunes exist, they create a natural protection from damaging wind and waves.
Commissioner Ed Straight said he remembered a minor storm event years ago when waves “actually were coming up and hitting this building. It’s a good lesson.”
Commissioners said they were eager to see construction of a proposed dune line across the street from city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.
Construction of the dunes, a private-public project involving ELRA Inc. and the city, could begin in early 2012, according to Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby, who chairs the city CIP committee.
“We’re still doing the legal mumbo jumbo,” Cosby told commissioners. And, he added, LTA Engineers of Bradenton is working on the engineering plan.
ELRA Inc. owns the BeachHouse, 200 Gulf Drive N., and the 200 feet of beach frontage south of the restaurant. The city owns about 50 feet fronting the beach.
The partnership involves creating a dune line and adding landscaping. The BeachHouse would continue to use property that would be east of the dunes for valet parking and the city could create several parking spaces.
“It’s really going to be nice,” Cosby said.
The details — an agreement, engineering and design — still must be worked out. Under a draft agreement, the city would pay for actual improvements to its property and ELRA Inc. would pay for improvements to its land. The corporation also would pay for all the engineering, design and permitting for the project.
The city planning and zoning board, the community redevelopment agency, the city commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection would review plans.
In the next year, commissioners also plan to improve seawalls on the bayside of the city and deal with at least one private-public dock in disrepair.