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Date of Issue: June 04, 2008

June 5 public meeting on bridge rehab

Another opportunity for Islanders and concerned citizens to gather and learn about the ongoing $9.2 million Anna Maria Island Bridge rehabilitation project is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach.

Called a “pre-closure” meeting by the Florida Department of Transportation, the meeting is a run-up to the planned 45-day closure of the bridge to vehicular traffic starting Sept. 29.

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

During the closure, traffic between the mainland and 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.

Boaters will be able to transverse the drawbridge at selected times during the closure period.

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

For the latest information on the $9.2 million rehabilitation project, visit The Islander Web site at ww.islander.org for a link to the DOT site. People without Internet access can call 941-792-0369.