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Date of Issue: August 06, 2008

New trolley route planned for bridge closure

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The planned detour during the 45-day closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge. Islander Image: Courtesy FDOT

Manatee County Area Transit is working to put a fare-free trolley into service to transport passengers from the mainland to the Island during the closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge.

The transit authority plans to establish a trolley service to take people from 75th Street and Cortez Road in Bradenton along Cortez Road to the Island and then return.

MCAT’s tentative plan will be explored during a public meeting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.

The meeting will be the last held by the Florida Department of Transportation before the Anna Maria Island Bridge is closed to general traffic for major repairs.

On Sept. 29, the DOT will close the bridge to non-emergency vehicular traffic for 45 days. During this period, contractors plan to work on the steel deck, recondition structural steel on the bridge, recondition the electrical operating system, restore the concrete deck and repair pile jackets.

During the closure, traffic to and from the Island will be directed to the Cortez Road Bridge. The bridge to Longboat Key also will remain open.

 Residents, business owners and other stakeholders are invited to attend the DOT meeting to review plans for the closure and “obtain a better understanding of what to expect from various agencies during the closure period,” according to a news release.

Representatives from a number of public agencies, especially police, fire and rescue, have been invited to attend the meeting, as well as officials from MCAT.

In addition, the DOT has invited a number of distributors that make regular runs to the Island, including Sysco, Cheney Brothers and Gold Coast Eagle to send representatives.

For more information, visit www.amibridgerehab.com.