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Date of Issue: March 11, 2009

Federal funds come pouring to region, Island

Federal transportation stimulus funds aimed at kick-starting the economy have trickled down to Anna Maria Island to the tune of nearly $1.7 million.

Regional transportation planners learned last week that the Manatee-Sarasota area, including municipalities, will receive $14,136,819. The funds will be used for road, sidewalk and bridge projects. Airport, transit and port proposals are included in a different revenue stream.

For Anna Maria Island, the projects include:

  • State Road 789/Gulf Drive corridor improvements in Bradenton Beach, including enhancing the roundabout at Bridge Street and improving sidewalks and crosswalks, $700,000.
  • Sidewalks/trails, resurfacing, construction of eight trolley shelters and repair of Crescent Avenue and Bay Boulevard bridges in Anna Maria City, $484,000.
  • Sidewalk and curb replacement, new sidewalks and realignment of East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach, $507,000.

On Longboat Key, funding includes $750,000 for resurfacing of Gulf of Mexico Drive in two phases, both within the Sarasota County portion of funds.

Florida Department of Transportation District One Secretary Stan Cann has said that projects have to be ready to go out to bid within 120 days, meaning that work could start this summer on transportation projects on the Island.