In my opinion, instead of destroying a big part of Cortez and Bradenton Beach with a new mid-rise or high-rise bridge, a third bridge should be built. It should extend from 53rd Avenue/State Road 70 west to the south end of Bradenton Beach. This would give the Longboat Key travelers a way to get to and from their island to the mainland without going through Bradenton Beach and Cortez. It would also probably qualify as an evacuation route, so federal funds may be available to help defer some of the costs of construction.
Another thought would be that the construction should be mostly a causeway like the Manatee Avenue causeway. This could also be designed like that of the Manatee causeway so people could use it as water access instead of coming all the way to the beach. Just the portion needed for the new high-rise bridge to cross the intercoastal would be concrete and steel. This, along with the new Manatee Avenue high-rise bridge, which would reduce the number of bridge openings on the Cortez bridge, would fix the intersection at 119 Street in Cortez without barricading 119th Street going south. It would do, in this writer’s opinion, a great deal to help with traffic flow to and from the island.
With the three major developments planned for Cortez Road and 75th Street West, if something isn't done it’s going to be gridlock in West Bradenton and Anna Maria Island for six months out of the year, if not longer. I have lived in West Bradenton for 16 years. I know this matter first hand.