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Date of Issue: November 11, 2009

Gulf Drive project to begin soon

Bradenton Beach walkers are pounding new pavement in the city — courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation and a result of lobbying by city officials.

A new sidewalk has gone in west of the bridge along Cortez Road.

Soon more improvements under the direction of the DOT and with federal stimulus funding will take place in the city.

“It probably will begin by mid-November,” said city project/program manager Lisa Marie Phillips.

City officials will meet with the DOT and the project contractor for a pre-construction meeting.

Additionally, a public forum to review the project, as well as transportation-related improvements in Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Longboat Key, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.

Bradenton Beach’s $800,000 stimulus project primarily involves adding new sidewalks to create a contiguous walking path on the west side of Gulf Drive from Cortez Road to Fifth Street South, as well as landscaping along the road and at some of the entrances to the beach.

The project also involves some ramp improvements for compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as added benches and a concrete pad for a bike rack.

The DOT selected plants for the project from the list of native species recommended by ScenicWAVES and adopted by the city commission early this year.

“Lane closures,” Phillips said, “will be minimal to none.”