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Date of Issue: September 02, 2009

Sidewalk to improve safety at intersection

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A construction crew Aug. 25 readies the ground along the north side of Cortez Road in Bradenton Beach for a new sidewalk. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

 

Residents near the intersection of Cortez Road and Gulf Drive recall seeing baby carriages bump along on the grass.

Walkers recall seeing vehicles swerve too close to pedestrians for comfort.

And city hall officials recall many calls for a sidewalk along the north side of Cortez Road west of the bridge, and an improved sidewalk along the east side of Gulf Drive from Cortez Road south to Second Street North.

Safety issues drove the Florida Department of Transportation to plan sidewalk improvements near the busy intersection.

“Pedestrians would often utilize the right-hand turn lane on northbound Gulf Drive for eastbound Cortez traffic and the hope is this project will alleviate this safety concern,” said DOT spokesperson Cindy Clemmons.

Last week, a crew with Loving Construction, contractor for the Florida Department of Transportation, began constructing a new sidewalk along Cortez Road.

Work will continue on Gulf Drive from Cortez Road to Second Street North.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” said Mayor Michael Pierce, who began lobbying for sidewalk improvements about two years ago.

Width of the sidewalk will vary, based on available right of way, from 3 feet to 6 feet.

“On Cortez it is 6 feet and on Gulf Drive it varies from 3 feet to 6 feet,” Clemmons said.

The work, estimated to cost $78,000, will be completed in mid-October, weather -permitting.