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Date of Issue: April 08, 2009

Gulf Drive resurfacing work to begin on LBK

The Florida Department of Transportation will begin its resurfacing of State Road 789 this month on Longboat Key.

Resurfacing of State Road 789, also known as Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach, is scheduled for fiscal year 2010, according to the DOT.

The DOT’s plans for SR 789 include milling and resurfacing, as well as adding or extending turn lanes, sidewalks, curbs, guardrails and signage in certain areas and making various repairs.

The entire SR 789 resurfacing project has been in the works since 2007.

The DOT will host an open house to discuss the project from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, at the Longboat Key Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.

The open house will focus on the first construction project, which is from the Sarasota County line to Longboat Pass Bridge. That work is scheduled to begin this month and take about 90 days to complete.

DOT representatives will answer questions about the project, pending lane closures, and what impact, if any, improvements might have on adjacent property on Longboat Key.

DOT spokesman Darren Alfonso said limited information will be available on next year’s projects in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach.

“We will have more information on that as the plans get finalized, and basically we will do the same thing when we get closer to the construction dates. We’ll have an open house up there,” Alfonso said.

In Bradenton Beach, the resurfacing project involves “smoothing the road,” according to public works director Tom Woodard.

The resurfacing is separate from two other state-related projects planned for Gulf Drive in the city — one involves major improvements along the road that may be funded with federal stimulus money and the other is the planned installation of a new sidewalk near the intersection with Cortez Road.

The stimulus project would involve $830,169 in federal funding for new sidewalks, added crosswalks on Gulf Drive and across side streets, removing, relocating and planting new landscaping, improving street lights and improving several beach access points.

In Holmes Beach, next year’s Gulf Drive resurfacing may include improvements to the intersection at Manatee Avenue and East Bay Drive with new mast arms and a traffic signal system.

Like Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach has a separate project in the works on SR 789 that may be covered under federal stimulus dollars. That project, estimated to cost $78,110, involves improvements at the intersection of East Bay and SR 789, including replacing the traffic signals with windproof traffic signals.

Both the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach stimulus projects were submitted to the Florida Legislative Budget Commission last week for review and approval, according to the DOT. The commission is expected to act on the recommendations by April 15.

Final plans for the SR 789 resurfacing work from Cortez Road north to State Road 64 are scheduled to be submitted by this July, and the contract to be executed in February 2010.

Final plans for the SR 789 resurfacing from the Longboat Key Bridge to Cortez Road are due to be submitted by late June, and the contract to be executed by February 2010.