Traffic

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 ease traffic flow.

The 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 divided four-lane roadway.

On Tuesday, Manatee County Commission awarded the contract to Bradenton's Woodruff & Sons Inc. for almost $12 million with 730 calendar days to completion. Woodruff & Sons, was the lowest bidder out of four 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 Public Works Department, said the contractor has to submit a schedule, which includes where work is going to start, and a notice to proceed before construction begins. Mollanazar said he would expect activity within the next 60 to 90 days.

During construction, Mollanazar said hopefully there will be no lane closures.

"The majority of the work will be on the south side," he said.

Additional lanes will be added to the south 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. 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."

Project design and permitting was completed inhouse, Mollanazar said.

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

The project also includes modification of traffic signals at the intersections at 51st Street West and 66th Street West. The Advanced Traffic Management System will be installed from 43rd Street West to 75th Street West. New signing and pavement marking will be done along 53rd Avenue West in addition to replacing 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 developers of the planned Lake Flores community, which was contingent on the awarding of the contract last Tuesday.

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