PARRISH -- With the Fort Hamer Bridge under construction and traffic in Parrish already increased, Manatee County is looking for a company to install a traffic signal.
Norma Kennedy says a traffic light at U.S. 301 and Fort Hamer Road will make the road "a much safer outlet."
"It is good timing," the Parrish Civic Association treasurer said. "I support a signal right there mainly because you are on a road with a school and the bridge is going to increase the traffic."
Manatee County has issued an invitation for bid for traffic signals at the intersection. Parties can submit bids until 3 p.m. Sept. 2. Two bids will be considered -- one based on 120 calendar days and one based on 200 calendar days, according to the invitation to bid.
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In addition to installing the traffic signal, other intersection improvements at U.S. 301 and Fort Hamer Road are planned, including installing closed circuit televisions, pedestrian signals and steel mast arms on three poles and the traffic signals, according to the invitation for bid.
The $4.45 million intersection project includes the light and improvements already completed, according to Sage Kamiya, deputy director of traffic management.
"The entire intersection project, realignment, turn lanes and the connector roadway have increased roadway capacity, enhanced safety and provided needed access onto U.S. 301," Kamiya said.
The project has a seven-month construction duration and is expected to be completed by early fall 2016, Kamiya said. Fort Hamer Bridge is expected to be completed by early 2017.
Before traffic signals can be installed, Kamiya said the intersection must meet federal criteria. Since the intersection is a state roadway, it also must meet state requirements.
"Staff found that warrants were met and based on professional engineering judgment determined that installation of a traffic signal would enhance safety and improve traffic operations at this intersection," Kamiya said.
Kennedy, who lives on Fort Hamer Road, said she doesn't think there has been a wreck at the intersection but "it's just a matter of time."
"The signal light will alleviate that from happening," she said. "We don't want to lose a life."
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@Claire_Aronson.