I was born in Cortez 83 years ago and have lived here ever since; in fact, I have lived here longer than anyone living here in Cortez today.
I have been here to see many hurricanes come and go. I was here to see Longboat Pass without a bridge for many years.
My wife, as a young lady from Michigan, lived in one of the last three houses on the south end of Anna Maria Island. I have seen the gulf wash across the end of the island many times. I remember when the pass bridge washed away. I cannot think of a worse place to put a bridge than the south end of the island.
I wrote a letter years ago, when the bridge location was being argued, suggesting a bridge be built at the south end of 75th Street across the bay from Longboat Key.
Crossing the Long Bar, which is very shallow water nearly all the way to Cranes Bayou, would be an easier route for installation of a bridge and most importantly a much needed alternative means of egress off the island in the event of a storm.
It seems as though Longboat Key is untouchable. Our state officials seem not to have any authority over them and will not take action to do what is best for the entire island.
Longboat Key residents need to ask themselves how they would get off the island if all of a sudden there was no bridge over Longboat Pass. Think about it!
I do not see how Cortez, Cortez Road, Bradenton Beach, or Beach Drive can tolerate not having a bridge elsewhere.
J.O. (Junie) Guthrie