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Date of Issue: September 03, 2008

DOT working to get closure route ready

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Detour route under construction
Improvements to the Gulf Drive-Cortez Road intersection are under way by Ajax Inc., and the Florida Department of Transportation expects construction to be completed by Sept. 29, the date the DOT has set for the 45-day closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

The Florida Department of Transportation has been working on improvements to the Gulf Drive-Cortez Road intersection to ease the flow of traffic during the 45-day closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge that starts Sept. 29.

DOT spokesperson Audrey Clarke said the project will lengthen the southbound turn lane on Gulf Drive at the intersection for motorists heading to the mainland on the Cortez Bridge.

Clarke said the improvements will cost an estimated $275,000 and become a permanent part of the intersection. She advised motorists to expect periodic lane closures during the period leading up to the closure.

While the AMI Bridge is closed from Sept. 29 to Nov. 13, the Cortez Bridge will be the Island’s only direct link to the mainland.

Travelers to the Island from Manatee Avenue will be detoured south on 75th Street and west on Cortez Road, then across the Cortez Bridge.

Clarke said the DOT will make full use of its information signs on Manatee Avenue, Cortez Road and elsewhere to advise motorists of the detour route and of possible traffic slowdowns during the closure period.