Traffic

Manatee County applies for grant to fund traffic management technology for State Road 70

MANATEE -- New technology, similar to that being installed along University Parkway, could also be installed on a portion of State Road 70.

Adaptive signal control technology could eventually go in at 20 intersections on the 9.2-mile stretch of State Road 70 between U.S. 41 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

At its Tuesday meeting, Manatee County Commission unanimously approved applying for a $1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration through the Florida Department of Transportation.

Vishal Kakkad, county Traffic Design Division manager in the Public Works Department, said the technology would improve traffic flow on State Road 70.

The project is expected to cost $1.412 million, according to county documents.

FDOT has agreed to share the county's 20 percent fund match requirement, which leaves the county responsible for $211,443 in "in-house staff labor only. No capital contributions from the county will be necessary," according to county documents.

On University Parkway, the InSync pilot program is being used to make traffic signals more reactive to traffic patterns.

Commissioner John Chappie said the public works staff "understands the importance of managing the facilities we have."

Chappie said he hopes for positive results on University Parkway.

"I look forward to getting the results and getting better flow and managing the facilities and hopefully other opportunities to go after grants

like this to address Cortez Road and Manatee Avenue," Chappie said.

"The east-west corridor is so important to our network."

Chappie said the county must be solution-oriented since there is only so much capacity.

"This is a tool that we can add to the toolbox," Chappie said.

Commissioner Vanessa Baugh said she travels State Road 70 from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to U.S. 301 daily and, even after season, it is congested.

"Anything you can do to help that is greatly appreciated by this commissioner," she said.

Commission Chairwoman Betsy Benac commended staff for finding the funding opportunity.

"This is a great opportunity to follow up with the technology," she said.

Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at caronson@bradenton.com. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.

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