Busy East Manatee street is about to get wider

A rendering of what 45th Street East should look like after construction.
A rendering of what 45th Street East should look like after construction. Manatee County Government

The county is growing, and so are its roads. Construction to widen a portion of 45th Street East will start in February.

As part of the 44th Avenue East extension project that is slated to connect Cortez Road West to Lakewood Ranch, 45th Street East between 44th Avenue East and State Road 70 will be widened from a two-lane road to a four-lane road. About half of the entire extension project, split into six segments, has been completed.

Gator Grading & Paving LLC will start on the 1.1-mile project next month, but residents will have the opportunity to view information on the project and speak with representatives in the Wagner Auditorium at Manatee Technical College on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Upgrades will include grassy, raised medians, traffic signals at the 44th Street East-44th Avenue East intersection and improved access to the Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District Station 4. The portion of the road at Gap Creek will also be widened and include two pedestrian bridges.

Construction will begin at State Road 70 and move north, said Tina Allen, community outreach specialist for the project. Crews will monitor the light at that intersection during construction and tweak the timing if warranted.

Unfortunately those seeking to go southbound on 45th Street East from the Aldi parking lot won’t have relief. Aldi is a supermarket on the northeast corner of State Road 70 and 45th Street East. According to Allen, the design of the project will include a raised traffic separator preventing drivers from making a left turn out of the lot.

“A left turn movement coming out of the Aldi’s driveway would create a safety and operational issue with vehicles turning into the middle of a left turn lane,” she said in an email to the Bradenton Herald. “This would be an unexpected movement very close the intersection.”

The $9.8 million project will be paid for by road impact fees as well as water and sewer facility investment fees, and is expected to be finished in summer 2019.

This story was updated on Jan. 30.

Hannah Morse: 941-745-7055, @mannahhorse

If you go

What: Public information meeting on the 45th Street East widening project

When: Thursday, Feb. 1, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Wagner Auditorium at Manatee Technical College, 6305 State Road 70