LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. (WWSB) - A study on a busy bridge in Manatee County is underway. The Florida Department of Transportation is looking into the lifespan of the Longboat Key Pass Bridge.
The drawbridge connects the southern end of Anna Maria Island to Longboat Key and it first opened in 1957. That’s why the FDOT is looking into a $2 million study that will help determine if this aging bridge should be replaced or not.
Currently, crews are working on improving the structure repairing the rusted steel, grid deck and movable span. Now with this upcoming study, they will be able to plan for the future.
“There’s obviously a need where all structures have to be maintained like your personal vehicle,” FDOT Communications Specialist Brian Rick told ABC7.
At the moment, FDOT is in the acquisition phase for a consultant contract. That’s expected to be executed by February. They’re also planning on having at least one workshop and a public hearing. Those dates are yet to still be determined. We spoke to some people that drive through the bridge daily and they say its too early to tell.
“I do emphasize that based on where were are now it will take at least something around 10 years before a bridge is open for traffic,” said Rick.
FDOT officials anticipate that the study alone would take around three years.