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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Escarpment more than just on the beach in Bradenton Beach

As with many things involving roadway projects on Anna Maria Island, the under-construction bike lanes along both sides of Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach have encountered something of a wall.

A wall next to the bike path on the east side of the road in the southern part of the city, that is.

Due to construction of a sidewalk many years ago that apparently did not meet Florida Department of Transportation standards, and was not approved by DOT for construction in its easement, the new 4-foot-wide bike path from about Eighth Street to 11th Street South in the city has a rather significant "escarpment" looming next to the path.

The mini-cliff is about a foot high, causing potential problems for future cyclists.

"We're working to correct it," said Bradenton Beach Public Works Director Dottie Poindexter. "We're working with the DOT, and it will meet all DOT safety standards when we're finished." She said bollards or other "streetscape" material would be placed along the roadway to provide bicyclists notice that there is a cycling issue along those blocks.

Another problem spot with the path, which when completed will run on both sides of Gulf Drive throughout Bradenton Beach, deals with drainage problems from about 12th Street North to 20th Street north in the northern part of the city.

"It's one of Bradenton Beach's biggest bloopers," Poindexter said of the problem, adding that the drainage issue should also be corrected to meet DOT standards.

The approximately $300,000 project is funded mostly from special DOT funds, with about $30,000 coming from the city in the form of matching grants. APAC Construction of Sarasota is performing the work.

Poindexter said about 80 percent of the project should be completed before Labor Day, with the entire project scheduled to be completed by the end of September.