Manatee County presents plan for 59th St. West

Seeking public comment on preliminary design
59th St W expansion by Manatee County Commissioners
59th St W expansion by Manatee County Commissioners(WWSB)
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 4:32 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) -Manatee County is seeking public comments after presenting their preliminary plan for 59th St. West. While the plan is only 60 percent complete, residents can expect to see the two-lane road expand into four.

Chad Butzow, Manatee County Public Works Director, said the plan envisions “sidewalks on both sides. One side is a multi-use trail; we’ve added lighting. The improved pedestrian facilities that happen at the signalized intersections will be second to none, and the lighting will just improve the overall convenience and usability of 59th.”

He said the improvements are helping the county get ahead of the continued growth in the area and an investment for the future. Adding, “59th is an attracter and it serves as that ability to get conveniently go between Cortez and Manatee, which either gets you away from the beach or to the beach.”

Steve Tinsworth is an orthodontist with his office on the street where a hospital, two schools and a park are also located. For him, the project is long overdue and said the county needs to keep improving like this for future development and growth. “If you don’t plan and don’t protect your basic transportation, you’re going to run into economic issues, people’s land values and property values will drop because people don’t want to be on bad roads and have issue getting around.”

The project has been controversial, with some residents continuing to rally against the project. Some wore shirts that said “Save 59th Street”. Kevin Lausman, a former resident of the street, said spending just over 31 million dollars is a waste of money on a road that doesn’t need improving.

“I think its a total waste of tax payers money on something that’s not needed. We’ve got so many other roads that need things done and there’s other roads that go all the way through that would be feeder roads that should be improved,” said Lausman.

Construction for project isn’t expected to start until early 2026 after the improvement project for 75th St. W is completed.