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Date of Issue: March 23, 2006

Public hearing on bridge opening times next Wednesday

The U.S. Coast Guard has scheduled a public hearing for 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at the Holmes Beach City Hall on changing the opening times for the Cortez Bridge and the Anna Maria Island Bridge.

The three Island cities and Longboat Key last year petitioned the Coast Guard to change the opening times from every 20 minutes on demand to every half-hour on demand, citing the heavy backup of traffic during the openings, particularly during the winter tourist season.

The USCG decided to hold a public hearing on the opening times because of some opposition to the idea from area sailors and sailing organizations after the proposal was announced in the Federal Register in October.