Delayed U.S. 301 project topic at Parrish meeting

PARRISH — Work to widen a section of U.S. 301 has fallen further behind schedule, say officials who plan to update Parrish residents on that and other projects during a meeting tonight.

The $21 million U.S. 301 project now is forecast to be completed in late January 2011, about two months later than originally planned, officials said Wednesday.

Weather has been the primary culprit, said Vincent Canna, Manatee County Public Works project manager.

“Unfortunately, there has been an unprecedented amount of rain out there,” he said. “The contractor tells me they will do what it takes to get the project completed within the scheduled time.”

Woodruff and Sons Inc. was hired in April 2009 to turn the rural, two-lane road into a four-lane, divided highway between Erie/Old Tampa roads and County Road 675. The original contracted completion date was Nov. 23, 2010, according to county records.

But the rain — 75 inches since the project began — has pushed that back to Jan. 28, 2011, Canna said.

The project is among several that will be discussed during an informational meeting scheduled for tonight. The meeting is 7 p.m. at the Parrish School House, 12214 U.S. 301 N.

Other projects include:

n The Florida Department of Transportation’s plans for widening U.S. 301 north of C.R. 675.

n The county’s proposed North County Transportation facility off Erie Road.

n The proposed realignment of the U.S. 301/Fort Hamer Road intersection.

n Planned improvements for the U.S. 301/C.R. 675 intersection.

n The proposed Fort Hamer bridge.

The meeting is free and open to the public, Canna said. “It’s purely an outreach to the public to provide updates of various projects in the Parrish area,” he said.

Duane Marsteller, transportation/growth and development reporter, can be reached at 745-7080, ext. 2630.