MPO presents final chapter of long-range plan

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An aerial shot taken in August of the intersection of Gulf Drive and Manatee Avenue, shows where the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization has determined in its long-range plans to add a roundabout. Islander Photo: Jack Elka

A long-range future transportation plan contains a handful of Anna Maria Island-based projects.

The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization’s strategic planning manager Leigh Holt presented board members Sept. 21 with a cost-feasible outline for the organization’s 2020-45 long-range plan.

The MPO consists of 17 officials from local municipalities within Manatee and Sarasota counties, including Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie, representing the three island cities chartered Island Transportation Planning Organization.

The organization does not implement projects, but oversees state and federal funds directed to the work.

The long-range plan provides a vision for the next 25 years of transportation improvement projects and must be updated every five years.

MPO executive director David Hutchinson said projects must be included in the plan to receive any of the $2 billion in state and federal funds the organization projects by 2045.

The document contains island-based projects, including plans to:

  • Replace the Anna Maria Island Bridge;
  • Replace the Cortez Bridge;
  • Replace the Longboat Pass Bridge;
  • Implement a $2,694,000 complete street improvement project on Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach from Longboat Pass to 27th Street North;
  • Implement a $5,215,000 complete street improvement project on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach from 27th Street North to where Palm Drive becomes Gulf Drive;
  • Add a northbound turn lane to Gulf Drive and Sixth Avenue for the approach to East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach for $298,000;
  • Construct a roundabout at the intersection of Cortez Road and Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach for $4,860,000;
  • Build a roundabout at the intersection of Manatee Avenue and East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach for $4,860,000;
  • Add a roundabout at the intersection of Gulf Drive and Manatee Avenue in Holmes Beach for $4,860,000.

Projected costs for the three island bridges were not established as of Sept. 24.

MPO staff has been creating the 2020-45 plan for almost two years, dividing the task into 12 chapters. The cost feasible plan was the final chapter.

Holt said the plan was designed to accommodate a projected spike in the region’s population from 750,000 residents this year to around 1.1 million by 2045.

Holt said the plan may need to be revised if state revenues stay low.

The next MPO meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26, at the MPO office, 8100 15th St. E., Sarasota.


How to comment

The Sarasota/Manatee MPO wants people to contribute to the updated long-range transportation plan, can be downloaded at

To comment or raise questions, contact the MPO by 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26, when the official 30-day comment period closes.

The public can comment on the plan at, leave a voice comment by calling 855-925-2801, meeting code: 9698; or emailing