The two bridges connecting the mainland to Anna Maria Island may soon be opening less frequently.
Both the Cortez and Anna Maria Island bridges are proposed to change from a schedule to open three times an hour to only twice an hour throughout the year. Changes are also proposed for the opening schedules of the Stickney Point and Siesta Drive bridges.
“The request was made to the Coast Guard to change the operation of four drawbridges due to an increase in vehicle traffic throughout these areas at all times of the year,” according to a document announcing the proposed change.
The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, along with local mayors, requested the Coast Guard consider changing the bridge operating regulations “to allow for the increase in vehicular traffic which is no longer associated with just the tourist season as in the past,” according to the document.
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The proposals, which are available for the public to comment on until April 14, would mean that both bridges headed to Anna Maria Island would open twice an hour betweeen 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
“These proposed changes will meet the reasonable needs of vessel traffic passing through the bridges while taking into account the reasonable needs of other modes of transportation,” according to the document.
Comments on the proposed change can be submitted at regulations.gov.