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Date of Issue: July 14, 2005

Coquina boat ramps to get facelift

The north and south boat ramps at Coquina Beach will get some much-needed repairs and improvements in the very near future, according to Doug Means of the Manatee County Planning Department.

Means told the June 28 meeting of the Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway Committee Corridor Management Entity that plans include expanding the parking area and replacing some of the concrete pilings that brace the ramps. The county will also add some handicap-accessible parking spaces at both locations, he said. The parking areas will not be paved, he said.

The south boat ramp will also see some additional parking spaces along with a reconfiguration of the parking area, handicap parking spaces and a sidewalk. Improvements will be made to the ramp.

Long-range improvements include replacing both the north and south ramps and lighting of each facility. The ramp at each location is too short and too steep, he said, but those renovations won’t take place in the immediate future.

Construction on the short-term improvements have already begun, with the north ramp dredging completed.

While the CME would like to see the county add a park-and-ride facility near the north boat ramp, Means said funds for this project are very specific and money can only be used for boat ramp improvements. A total of $1.4 million is available for the eight existing boat ramps in Manatee County.

In other CME business, Bob Herrington the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization said it was his understanding that Manatee County Area Transit is just waiting for an installation schedule of new trolley shelters from the contractor. Bradenton Beach will get all four of the shelters planned immediately for Anna Maria Island, he said.