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Date of Issue: April 15, 2009

DOT to lower causeway, bridge, Manatee Avenue speed

Following the recent completion of a study of vehicle speeds on the Anna Maria Island Bridge, the Palma Sola Causeway and that portion of Manatee Avenue in Holmes Beach, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced it is lowering the speed limit in those areas.

DOT spokesperson Lauren Hatchell said, based on the results of the speed study, “A determination has been made to lower the speed limit from 50 mph to 45 mph on State Road 64 [Manatee Avenue] from just east of East Bay Drive [Holmes Beach] to west of 79th Street [on the mainland].”

The DOT is in the process of “coordinating this change in speed limit with local authorities,” Hatchell said.

“Once the new speed limit signs are installed, the 45-mph speed limit will then become effective,” she added.

Hatchell said she did not know when the lower speed limit would be implemented, but will issue a press release to forewarn the motoring public as soon as she has that date.

The DOT performed its speed study following a request by The Islander newspaper to study the impact of the 50-mph speed limit on the AMI Bridge.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine said the lower speed limit is not likely to have much effect on motorists entering the city.

“It’s not like going from 60 to 40. I don’t think it’s going to make much difference at all,” Romine said.

The chief noted that there is a speed limit sign near Kingfish Boat Ramp that says 40 mph, but the speed limit drops to 35 mph at the city limit on Manatee Avenue just west of the Kingfish Boat Ramp.

“We already watch for speeders in this city limit area, but we don’t have any more there than in other areas,” he said.