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Cortez Bridge PD&E Study

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Public Involvement

Cortez Bridge

Public involvement is an important part of the Cortez Bridge PD&E study. FDOT will use several ways to interact with interested people including meetings with stakeholders, newsletters, surveys, informal public meetings and a formal public hearing.

The study team will hold meetings with agencies throughout the study. The meetings will assist the department with identification of issues and potential solutions. FDOT will hold a public kickoff meeting to introduce people to the study process and the history of the bridge. The department will hold an alternatives public meeting to present different options for the future of the bridge. Finally, FDOT will conduct a formal public hearing to present a recommended alternative and the no build alternative. Throughout the study process, staff will give presentations to various governmental groups. Interested citizens also may request a presentation to their group or organization.

August 31, 2017 Public Hearing

FDOT held a formal public hearing on Thursday, August 31, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Kirkwood Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 6101 Cortez Road West, Bradenton, Florida. The public hearing informed people of the results of the PD&E study and gave them the opportunity to express their views regarding specific location, design, socio-economic effects, and environmental impacts associated with the viable alternatives, which included a mid-level drawbridge, a high-level fixed bridge, and the no-build/repair alternative.

Marlon Bizerra, P.E., FDOT project manager, presided at the hearing. Department representatives informally discussed the project with the public at the meeting site for one hour prior to the formal proceedings. The department displayed aerial photographs with the viable alternatives and poster boards. Attendees received a project handout and a comment sheet to complete. The handout included a description of the right-of-way acquisition procedures with particular reference to state and federal relocation assistance programs.

A total of 193 persons registered at the public hearing. Following introductory remarks by Mr. Bizerra, FDOT presented a video of the project. The video included a summary of the need for the bridge, advantages and disadvantages of the viable build alternatives and the no-build alternative, and associated socio-economic and environmental effects.

FDOT answered specific questions and comments raised at the public hearing during informal discussions with concerned individuals or by letter following the hearing. Twenty persons spoke for the public record at the hearing, and 148 comment sheets were submitted at the hearing, on the project website, by e-mails and letters.

Comments included the following: 57% for the no-build/repair alternative and 40% for the build alternative, which included 31% for the mid-level drawbridge and 69% for the high-level fixed bridge. Substantive comments made at and subsequent to the public hearing focused almost exclusively on preferences for one of the alternatives presented. FDOT responded that staff will review comments and incorporate them with engineering and environmental analyses to develop the recommended alternative that the study team will submit to FDOT’s Office of Environmental Management for approval.

 

August 31, 2017 Public Hearing

   

 

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Display Materials

 

Concept Display Boards

Project Reports

 

August 9, 2016 Alternatives Public Meeting #2

FDOT held a second alternatives public meeting on August 9, 2016, to display alternatives developed to address the deteriorating structural condition and substandard features of Cortez Bridge. A total of 179 people attended the two-hour, open house meeting at Saint Bernard Catholic Church activity center in Holmes Beach. Staff discussed the alternatives with people who watched a project video and viewed aerial photographs with the alternatives and numerous poster board displays.

FDOT has received 425 completed comment sheets to date.
Results are as follows:

  • No Build/Repair – 29% (123)
  • Replacement – 68% (287)
    • 21-foot drawbridge – 5%
    • 35-foot drawbridge – 19%
    • 65-foot fixed bridge – 44%
  • Other (new bridge to Longboat Key) – 4% (15)

Click here for detailed results

(Note: No Build/Repair, Replacement and Other percentages add to more than 100% due to comment sheets with multiple preferences.)

The Department will review the comments and, together with engineering and environmental analyses, refine the viable build alternatives. Then, we will conduct a thorough analysis of potential environmental effects and document the findings in several reports. We will also continue coordination with local governmental entities. The recommended build alternative and the no build/repair alternative will be presented at a formal public hearing where your comments will be solicited again. The hearing is tentatively scheduled for early 2017.


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Display Boards

Concept Display Boards

August 28, 2014 Alternatives Public Meeting

FDOT held an alternatives public meeting on August 28, 2014, to display alternatives developed to address the deteriorating structural condition and substandard features of Cortez Bridge. Eighty-seven people attended the open house at Saint Bernard Catholic Church activity center in Holmes Beach. Staff discussed the alternatives with people who watched a project video and viewed aerial photographs with the alternatives and numerous poster board displays.

FDOT received about 60 completed comment sheets at the public meeting and in the comment period that followed the meeting.  Results are as follows:

  • Repair – 11%
  • Rehabilitation – 23%
  • Replace – 72%
    • Low-level drawbridge – 16%
    • Mid-level drawbridge – 33%
    • High-level fixed bridge –  21%
  • Other (new bridge to Longboat Key) – 19%

(Note:  Percentages add to more than 100% due to comments with multiple preferences)

The Department will review the comments and, together with the engineering and environmental analyses, refine the viable build alternatives. Then, we will conduct a thorough analysis of potential environmental effects and document the findings in several reports. We also will continue coordination with local governmental entities. The recommended alternative and the no build/repair alternative will be presented at a formal public hearing where your comments will be solicited again. The hearing is tentatively scheduled for summer 2015.


Click the items below to view

Display Boards

Concept Display Boards

April 30, 2013 Public Kickoff Meeting

FDOT held a public kickoff meeting on April 30, 2013, early in the PD&E study process. About 170 people attended the three-hour open house at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church fellowship hall in Bradenton.

Staff discussed project issues with people who viewed aerial photographs of the existing bridge and the surrounding study area. A video explained the study process.

FDOT distributed surveys by U.S. mail and received almost 850 completed surveys. We also received 38 written comment sheets, letters and e-mails through the study website.

 

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Survey Results

The results of the completed surveys received in April and May indicate:

• 51% favor further rehabilitation of Cortez Bridge
• 43% favor replacement of the bridge


Of those in favor of bridge replacement:
• 38% prefer a high-level fixed bridge
• 19% would like a mid-level drawbridge
• 33% prefer a low-level drawbridge
• 04% favor another option

We received surveys from the following locations:

  Rehabilitation Replacement
  • 11% -- Anna Maria
  • 09% -- Bradenton
  • 18% -- Bradenton Beach
  • 16% -- Cortez
  • 28% -- Holmes Beach
  • 01% -- Longboat Key
  • 17% -- Other
  • 54%
  • 36%
  • 52%
  • 62%
  • 45%
  • 14%
  • 58%
  • 43%
  • 58%
  • 39%
  • 33%
  • 50%
  • 86%
  • 33%

Interests listed most often on returned surveys include roadway traffic, access to the mainland, storm/emergency evacuation and bridge replacement types.

See complete survey results listed in the form below.

Survey 2
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Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival


FDOT staffed a booth at the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on February 16 and 17, 2013. The study team handed out surveys to kick off the Cortez Bridge PD&E study. The survey included several questions about the bridge and offered people a chance to share their ideas regarding proposed improvements. Interested people completed 168 surveys at the festival and in a ten-day period following the event. Survey results indicate 56 percent of people who completed a survey favor rehabilitation of Cortez Bridge, which extends the service life of the bridge. Thirty-six percent favor replacement of the bridge. See complete survey results listed in the form below.

Survey  
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