53rd Avenue West to be widened from two to four lanes in West Bradenton

MANATEE -- A major West Bradenton road will soon be widened to four lanes to help with traffic flow.

The existing undivided two-lane, approximately 1.8-mile segment of 53rd Avenue West between 43rd Street West to the roundabout at 75th Street West will soon become a four-lane divided roadway.

On Tuesday, Manatee County Commission awarded the contract to Bradenton's Woodruff & Sons, Inc., for almost $12 million with 730 calendar day completion time. Woodruff & Sons, Inc., the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, was one of four bids received.

The project will "facilitate traffic flow on 53rd Avenue West and reduce traffic on Cortez Road," according to county documents.

Sia Mollanazar, deputy director of the engineering section of the county's public works department, said the contractor has to submit its schedule, which includes where work is going to start, and a notice to proceed before construction begins. Mollanazar said he would expect there to be some activity within the next 60 to 90 days.

During the construction, Mollanazar said hopefully there will not be lane closures.

"The majority of the work will be on the south side," he said. The additional lanes will be added onto the south side of the existing two lanes.

Since 53rd Avenue West, a county road, becomes a state road east of U.S. 41, Mollanazar said "it is one of the important east-west roads."

"It will improve the traffic right around 43rd Street West," he said. "It will continue the four-lane median divided boulevard section all the way. It is an east-west corridor and will reduce traffic from adjacent thoroughfares moving east-west."

The project's design and permitting was completed in-house, Mollanazar said.

"Public works did the entire engineering and design," he said.

The project also includes the modification of the traffic signals at the intersections at 51st Street West and 66th Street West. The Advanced Traffic Management System will be installed along the stretch from 43rd Street West to 75th Street West. New signing and pavement marking along 53rd Avenue West will also be installed, in addition to the replacement of the force main.

The county commission also approved an Impact Fee Agreement for conveyance of road right-of-way and related easements between the county and the developers of the planned Lake Flores community, which was contingent on the awarding of the contract, last Tuesday.

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