Plans for new $7.5 million intersection near Port Manatee win approval

MANATEE -- About $500,000 for design work, and another $7 million for construction will be forthcoming for work on an intersection fronting Port Manatee.

Plans for the project at the intersection of U.S. Highway 41 and Piney Point Road were approved Monday by the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization board. The board moved the project up on its five-year priority list.

The project calls for federal money to come through the Florida Department of Transportation, said Keith Drake, the MPO's principal planner.

The design phase is slated to take place in 2012-13 with construction in 2014-15, he said.

The project calls for reconstruction of the intersection, drainage improvements, better signage and street lighting, he said.

It is a major intersection at a spot that will become a major economic driver in Manatee County, said Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie after the meeting at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee.