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Date of Issue: December 10, 2008

Cortez Bridge rehab planned for 2013-14

Just as one bridge’s repair starts to sail into the sunset, reconstruction of another bridge to Anna Maria Island looms on the horizon.

Regional transportation planners are scheduled to address a tentative program of road and bridge replacement and repair Monday. Within the program is a projected $5,641,271 for repair and rehabilitation of the Cortez Bridge in fiscal year 2013-14.

That project follows a $10 million rehab for the Anna Maria Island Bridge, which caused the closure of the span from Perico Island to Holmes Beach for about five weeks earlier this year. The Anna Maria Island Bridge project is scheduled to be finished by April 2009.

For the 51-year-old Cortez Bridge, work will probably entail repair of pilings, steel deck, electrical service and other elements of the drawbridge linking Cortez and Bradenton Beach. The full scope of work for the project will be determined as approval and funding is secured.

Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization members will discuss the tentative work plan beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15. The group’s recommendation will then go to the Florida Department of Transportation, then to the Florida Legislature and governor for final approval.

Other facets of the 2009-10/2013-14 tentative work plan impacting the Island include:

  • $1.399 million for bridge repair-rehab of the Longboat Pass Bridge in 2011-12.
  • $3.429 million for resurfacing of Gulf Drive from Cortez Road to Manatee Avenue in 2009-10.
  • $2.207 million for resurfacing of Gulf Drive from Longboat Pass Bridge to Cortez Road in 2009-10.
  • $326,000 for landscaping on the Island in 2010-11.

Manatee Avenue from east of the Anna Maria Island Bridge to Bristol Bay Drive along the causeway will be resurfaced at a cost of $1.169 million in 2011-12, according to plans.

DOT officials have also scheduled a public informational session beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, to offer proposals and solicit comments on a replacement for the Anna Maria Island Bridge. That meeting will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.