To Rachel D. Cone, interim secretary at the Florida Department of Transportation,
This is with regards to a bridge from Cortez to Anna Maria Island, Florida.
We read an article on the front page of the April 16 Bradenton Herald which reported the FDOT is considering four alternatives for the span connecting Cortez to Anna Maria Island:
1. A 21-foot vertical clearance drawbridge
2. A 35-foot vertical clearance drawbridge
3. A 65-foot vertical clearance fixed bridge
4. Just repairing the current bridge
We request that you add a fifth alternative:
5. Extend 53rd Avenue West (SR 70) westward to the Intracoastal Waterway and then across with a 65-foot vertical clearance fixed bridge to the north end of Longboat Key; and then select this choice!
Then all you need to do to the current Cortez Bridge is maintain it to keep it safe, as it is, for very local traffic use and as an extra emergency access on and off the island.
An additional benefit would be less traffic in the Cortez area, and Cortez could be saved as the wonderful Florida historic asset that it is today — and maybe even improved into a more pedestrian-friendly village area, making it an even more valuable asset for the citizens of Manatee County and all of Florida.
Your full consideration of this fifth alternative is requested.
Roger A. and Judith S. Meyer