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Date of Issue: May 14, 2008

One planned AMI bridge closure sunk

Work crews were busy last week on the west end of the approach to the Anna Maria Island Bridge improving the concrete bulkhead on the north side of the approach as part of the Florida Department of Transportationís $9.2 million rehab project. For the latest information on the project, go on the Web to People without Internet access can call 941-792-0369. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

A planned one-night closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge to vehicular traffic by contractor Quinn Construction Co. of Palmetto failed to take place as scheduled the night of May 5-6 because the necessary materials were not available.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Audrey Clarke said Quinn had planned to install new sidewalk railings as part of the DOT’s $9.2 million rehabilitation project already under way and closure of the bridge was planned to take place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. May 5-6 to complete installation.

“But they didn’t get their materials, so the bridge was never closed,” Clarke said.

She said she’s heard nothing further from Quinn or the project engineers PB Americas, on when they would get the materials and schedule another closure, but a project meeting was scheduled for Thursday, May 8. Clarke said she would likely get an update then.

There are no temporary bridge closures planned at this time, according to Clarke.

The 45-day closure begins Sept. 29, but Clarke has indicated the contractors will likely need additional vehicular closures at night prior to that date, and will advise the DOT when one is needed.


Pre-closure public meeting June 5

The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in the activity center to discuss the planned 45-day closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge to vehicular traffic starting Sept. 29, along with other aspects of the current $9.2 million rehabilitation project.

At present, the DOT plans to close the bridge to all vehicular traffic for 45 days. The bridge is slated to reopen Nov. 13.

During this period, all traffic that would normally utilize the Palma Sola Causeway and Anna Maria Island Bridge to traverse to and from the Island will have to detour to Cortez Road and the Cortez Bridge.

The DOT had originally planned to close the bridge for 75 days in early April, but relented after a public outcry that those dates would adversely affect Island tourism and create traffic problems on Cortez Road and the Cortez Bridge because April is at the end of the winter tourist season and traffic to and from the Island is still considerably greater than during the September-November period.