I chose the Opinion page address for greatest local coverage. If you find favor and are truly interested in the utterings of a long-time local resident about a subject near and dear to us all -- another bridge to Anna Maria Island -- I hope you will agree. The time is already very late.
I have taken the liberty of sending in copies of prior letters on the same subject going back to when the cost of this project could have been about half the current cost.
Even so, the need has grown proportionally with the influx of new people into this area, and the need is even greater -- making it necessary for DOT to pay serious attention this time. And I don't mean filing the project in some out-of-the-way location until money is available either.
A close example of financing is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which pulls in over an estimated $1 million-plus daily and ostensibly the money goes directly into DOT coffers as is proper.
I recall all the hullabaloo that went into the eventual building of the new Sarasota Ringling Bridge and what a beauty it is, too. Similar financing must be available to finally build this needed bridge that has now become a major problem.
A major problem now, which didn't exist 25 years ago, is the ongoing development of surrounding land.
I am firmly convinced that the best and most practical routing must be from the 53rd Street roundabout directly across to Leffis Point with turn-outs to the right and left and a straight-through across to Coquina Beach, even if it becomes necessary to use eminent domain now.
I believe the benefits far outweigh any other routing and is buildable without further delay. The need is obvious, even critical for a host of reasons.
The money is available, so why any further delay?
I honestly cannot imagine any other route. Hopefully, the doubting Thomases of years back will now agree. Let's get on with it.
Rolland S. Freeman