State to build 'refuge island' on U.S. 41 in Bradenton to aid pedestrians

skennedy@bradenton.comMay 7, 2013 

MANATEE -- Citing a high number of pedestrian fatalities and traffic accidents, the Florida Department of Transportation is planning to build 11 pedestrian “refuge islands” along part of the center lane of U.S. 41 in Bradenton.

The $352,000 project calls for concrete islands in the center, two-way left turn lane of the heavily-congested road, where pedestrians could pause while they cross lanes of traffic going north and south, Amy Blair, FDOT project manager, told the Manatee County Commission on Tuesday.

The 2.5-mile project will be done between Cortez Road and 69th Avenue West. Construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2014, Blair said.

U.S. 41, also known as Tamiami Trail, is a six-lane, undivided urban roadway, with an 11-foot bi-directional center left turn lane.

The refuge islands are a “safety-funded” project, due to the high number of accidents recorded along the road, Blair said.

An associated FDOT project to improve lighting and sidewalks along U.S. 41 from 53rd to 63rd avenues is slated to start in the fall of 2015, Blair said.

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