U.S. 41 in Bradenton set for improvements

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MANATEE COUNTY--- The stretch of U.S. 41 from 53rd Ave West to 63rd Ave West is getting a safety makeover.  A move that as many hoping it will decrease the number of accidents in the area.

"A car could easily just blow me over just pushing me," said Ashley Solomon.  She uses the road daily to get to and from work and says the majority of her route is along a busy street with no sidewalks and very few lights.

"Its very dangerous your can easily just be missed and hit," added Solomon. 

Crash data for the 1.25 mile stretch of road way shows there were 192 crashes in 2012.  From January to October 2013 their have been 93 crashes, one of those were fatal, three of them involved pedestrians, and Stephen Langley is among that group.

"I've been hit by a car once already on my bike." said Langley. "Every once in a while I would have to get one the road to go around the places where there is no sidewalks." he added as he describe the details of the accident.

And years of efforts prevent similar incidents and improve the area a solution is now in the works

"What we are going to do is construct lighting and sidewalks along U.S. 41 between 53 Avenue West and 63rd Avenue West in Manatee County," said Florida Department of Transportation official Robin Stublen.

The project is expected to cost about 3.7 million dollars.  Money that will come from the DOT's safety improvement budget. But, regardless of the cost Manatee County, Commissioners say the improvements are needed. 

"We've been working on this along 41 for a very long time so its long over due and very accepted.  We're improving the mobility for pedestrians, bicycles, and also vehicles because of the lighting," said Commissioners Robin DiSabatino.

The construction is expected to begin in summer 2015.