MANATEE -- A $13.2 million resurfacing project along State Road 64 East is slated for completion in late March, after almost two years of work.
The 2.5-mile-long project, construction on which started in March 2012, spans an area roughly from the Braden River to Interstate 75.
The project's original end date was fall of 2013, but work was delayed by 64 days due to poor weather, 17 days due to holidays, and about 30 days due to additional work requested by the Florida Department of Transportation, said Robin Stublen, communications specialist for FDOT's District One.
Its original cost was $12.7 million, with the extra amount reflecting additional work, said Stublen.
Four intersections have been redone: at 43rd Street Boulevard East, 48th Street Court East, 57th Street East and 60th Street Court East, all of which were realigned. The remaining intersections were resurfaced, Stublen said.
Work continues to resurface the existing roadway and expand it from four to six lanes.
Crews are also adding five-
foot paved bike lanes, building curb and gutter with drainage swales, constructing sidewalks, planting landscaping and replacing existing traffic signals with mast arms and concrete poles.
Crews are working overnight 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, at various locations for paving operations.
The contractor is Better Roads Inc.
Motorists may hit temporary intermittent lane closures as the work continues.
Business people along the route, where construction has tied up traffic, are relieved it's almost over.
Rachael Carmichael, receptionist at the Braden River Animal Hospital, said that briefly, her customers couldn't get in the driveway at 5012 S.R. 64.
"The manager of the project took care of it," she said.
Later, the hospital's mailbox was dislodged and re-hung improperly, facing the wrong way, she said.
"It took months to get it fixed," she said. "The mailman said he wouldn't deliver mail anymore.
"Oh, I'm so excited for it to be done," she added. "They've been nice about the whole thing, but it's just been a pain."
Rows of orange barrels along parts of the roadway remained Friday, as workers installed landscaping and finishing touches.
Large pieces of equipment remained along the road's shoulder in some places as well.
One beneficiary of the project was Kathy Burnett, the owner of Signs 2 Go, at 4401 E. S.R. 64, Suite 6.
A native of Chicago, Burnett said she had expected the construction to be a real headache, but was surprised at how little it had disturbed her.
"This has been the least-noticeable road work I've seen in my life," she said.
"They have been very good to us; as long as it's taken, we have received no problems from it at all, they've just been great."
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.