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Date of Issue: May 28, 2008

Public meeting on bridge set for June 5

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Employees with Quinn Construction Co. last week began work on a portion of the south sidewalk of the Anna Maria Island Bridge as part of the Florida Department of Transportation's $9.2 million bridge rehabilitation project. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Islanders and interested citizens will get another chance to express their opinion on the ongoing Anna Maria Island Bridge rehabilitation project at a “pre-closure” public meeting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach.

The meeting is a run-up to the planned 45-day closure of the bridge to vehicular traffic starting Sept. 29.

Florida Department of Transportation officials will also be on hand to discuss the status of the planning development and environmental study on a replacement bridge. The agency began that study last fall after a majority of Island residents expressed approval for a new structure.

Various public agencies and private distributors will have tables at the June 5 meeting where representatives can explain their preliminary plans to deal with the closure, while continuing to provide services and goods.

DOT spokesperson Audrey Clarke said that if any other agencies or distributors wanted to attend to provide information, they should call her at 941-792-0369, or e-mail clarkeau@pbworld.com.

Among the agencies that will attend the June 5 meeting are:

  • City of Anna Maria.
  • City of Bradenton Beach.
  • City of Holmes Beach.
  • Town of Longboat Key.
  • West Manatee Fire and Rescue.
  • Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Manatee County Emergency Services.
  • City of Bradenton public works.
  • Florida Department of Transportation.
  • Waste Management Inc.
  • Sysco.
  • Gold Coast Eagle Distributors.
  • Cheney Brothers.

During the closure period, direct traffic to and from the mainland to the Island will have to utilize Cortez Road and the Cortez Bridge. The Anna Maria Island Bridge is expected to reopen Nov. 13, according to the DOT.

For the latest information on the $9.2 million rehabilitation project, go on the Web to www.amibridgerehab.com. People without Internet access can call 941-792-0369.