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Date of Issue: July 16, 2008

Gulf Drive busy with repairs, more coming in August

It's a rough job
This Manatee County worker last week seemed to successfully manage traffic on Gulf Drive in Anna Maria without too much exertion as crews continued to install new water pipes along the road. The project forced one traffic lane to close during daylight hours and is not expected to finish until mid-August, county officials have said. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Anna Maria Island’s Gulf Drive, which extends the length of the Island from the Longboat Pass Bridge to Pine Avenue in Anna Maria, underwent repairs and traffic disruptions in two locations last week.

In Anna Maria, county workers were busy installing new water pipes along Gulf Drive that resulted in only one lane available for traffic during daylight hours.

Bradenton Beach fared a bit better, as Florida Department of Transportation workers improved sidewalks north of the Cortez Road-Gulf Drive intersection, but no lane closures were necessary.

The “good news” for Island motorists is that even more work on Gulf Drive is planned in August.

DOT spokesperson Lauren Hatchall said the DOT will begin extension of the left-turn lane from Gulf Drive onto Cortez Road beginning the first week of August.

The measure is designed to relieve traffic southbound on Gulf Drive and departing the Island during the 45-day closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge beginning Sept. 29, she said.

Hatchall said the project should be completed well before Sept. 29, but some lane closures are possible during the construction.