MANATEE -- A roadway improvement project on U.S. 41 near Port Manatee is expected to begin this summer.
Florida Department of Transportation senior project manager Joseph Lauk updated the Manatee County Commission at its Tuesday meeting about the project, which is expected to take 19 months from start of construction.
The improvements on U.S. 41 at Piney Point Road and Dock Street include concrete pavement, addition of turn lanes and acceleration lane extensions, lighting and replacement of Port Manatee gateway signs.
"We are providing lighting," Lauk said. "There have been night-time crashes at that location."
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To save money and minimize inconvenience to the public, construction on a resurfacing project on U.S. 41 from Interstate 275 to the Hillsborough County line will be done at the same time, Lauk said, adding the estimated 19-month completion time covers the two projects.
"They will be built together," he said. "We've coordinated extensively with
Port Manatee. They are well aware of this."
George Isiminger, Port Manatee engineer, said they've had a couple meetings with FDOT about the project.
"We have been working with them closely," he said Tuesday afternoon.
Isiminger said he is confident construction will not really affect traffic.
"The improvements extend into the entrance roads a little bit so we will coordinate things so none of the Port traffic is affected," he said.
Lauk said FDOT also met with Air Products and Chemicals Inc., county staff and utility owners in the area about the project.
Project design began April 29, 2013, and bids are expected to be opened June 17.
Lauk added there may be incentives if the construction time is reduced.
In other business:
The commission approved spending up to $12,500 per year for two years to promote Air Canada at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
The commission approved proceeding with a competitive selection process for a concessionaire at Jiggs Landing for rentals and boat tours.
The commission authorized an interlocal agreement between Holmes Beach and the county for $10,000 to pay for law enforcement services provided by Holmes Beach Police Department at Manatee Public Beach and Kingfish Boat Ramp.
An expansion of the Manatee County Tax Collector's Office remains possible after the $2.65 million purchase of the building at 3500 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, was deferred to the commission's April 7 meeting.
Commissioners were invited to the Fort Hamer Bridge groundbreaking ceremony at Fort Hamer Park, 605 Fort Hamer Road, at 1:30 p.m. March 19. "We look forward to that," Chairwoman Betsy Benac said.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.