The Florida Department of Transportation will begin a $1.2 million repair project on the Desoto Bridge in early May that is expected to last through the end of August.
Nighttime lane closures are expected from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. through much of the project. Portions of the Riverwalk also will be closed.
The bridge is at the end of its service life, and FDOT is investing $462 million into Manatee County projects over the next five years, but replacing the bridge is not one of the projects.
“There’s nothing on the five-year plan as far as a PDE study, design or anything on the Desoto Bridge,” said Robin Stublen, FDOT District 1 spokesman.
Stublen said the May project is “normal bridge maintenance” and will include installing pile jackets and repairing concrete and the bridge’s fender system, where boats pass through along the Manatee River.
FDOT sought bids in January, and Inland Construction and Engineering secured the contract.
How the project will affect the Riverwalk skate park and other nearby amenities is undetermined. Tim McCann, Bradenton public information officer, said the city only received notification of the bridge project from FDOT late Thursday.
“We were wondering how this will impact the skate park, and we are trying to find that out,” McCann said Friday. “The city will get with FDOT some time next week and we’ll know more then, but right now we just don’t know.”