Fort Hamer Road officially opens

Fort Hamer Road Open
Fort Hamer Road Open(WWSB)
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 3:41 PM EST
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PARRISH, Fla. (WWSB) - Manatee County Commissioners and Neal Land & Neighborhoods held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Fort Hamer Road on Friday. The last two-mile stretch totaled $16 million that according to Manatee County Public Works Director Chad Butzow, would’ve cost the county double without the partnership.

The road provides direct access to US-301 and provides an alternative route to Parrish Community High School. Neal Land & Neighborhoods President John Neal said they knew they needed the road 10 years ago.

“We got on it early. We thought about the usability in the future of a road in a new part of the county and we wanted to imagine it the way it should be in the future not the way we used to do things in the past,” said Neal.

Neal Land & Neighbors used the own the land where Parrish Community High School Sits. They sold it to the county for the school. At that point, Butzow explained that’s when the road was no longer a map on a line.

“Since that day it’s been on the ability to try and fast track, it and that’s ultimately why we ended up in a public-private partnership. Was able to get it done at the appropriate time. Technically, the segment was standing next to right here and was able to at the time and match the opening of the high school. We had some additional permitting and a lot of land acquisition issues on the last segment that is just not completing,” said Butzow.

The road is welcoming future development including the State College of Florida’s Parrish campus and HCA’s newest hospital. At the corner of Fort Hamer Road and Moccasin Wallow Road, Market Walk is being added with a Publix breaking ground soon and room for more shopping options.

Neal added that the road has the ability to extend north to Buckeye Road and the Hillsborough County line.