The Florida Department of Transportation used over a million dollars to do another study to replace or rehab the Cortez Bridge. I believed the rehabilitation was to be done periodically.
FDOT's 20-year vision with five-year increments started decades ago.
It's inevitable the acres at the Conquistador Parkway will be developed. The acres at 75th Street and Cortez Road are planned as well.Ironically, the two developments are at the roundabout of 75th Street and 53rd Avenue (S.R. 70). Many predicted this scenario.
Former Bradenton Beach Councilman Jim Kissick studied this location, traveling west, north of Tidy Island for a fourth bay bridge crossing to Longboat Key Pass, landing at Coquina Beach, Longboat Key or both. Another thought would be to impose a toll.
FDOT did another three-month study on a fourth bay bridge (called a charrette), resulting in a 21-page report, cost unknown. It's a waste of energy, funds and time.
Manatee County commissioners already voted for $145 million to replace the Anna Maria Island Bridge that would only make traffic worse. It's deplorable.
I lived in Tampa when FDOT wanted to connect Treasure Island with Anna Maria. It was a huge controversy, even when they wanted to connect Pinellas with Manatee, building the Skyway.
The rest is history. First, one fixed span bridge was not wide enough; then came the second bridge, followed by the horrible tragedy when the ship Summit Venture hit the bridge, causing it to collapse.
Hence, the 180-foot high, fixed-span suspension bridge we now call the Skyway.
Finally, FDOT achieved the unbelievable, proving they can build a fourth bay bridge crossing. Sounds like politics as usual!