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Cortez Bridge PD&E Study

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Public Involvement

Cortez Bridge

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

The study team held meetings with agencies throughout the study. The meetings assisted the department with identification of issues and potential solutions. FDOT held a public kickoff meeting to introduce people to the study process and the history of the bridge. The department held alternatives public meetings to present different options for the future of the bridge. Finally, FDOT conducted a formal public hearing to present Recommended Alternatives and the No-Build (Repair) Alternative. Throughout the study process, staff gave presentations to various governmental groups. Interested citizens also could request a presentation to their group or organization.

Location and Design Concept Acceptance

On September 18, 2019 the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) granted Location and Design Concept Acceptance for Cortez Bridge on State Road (SR) 684 from SR 789 (Gulf Drive) to 123rd Street West.

Click here to view the Final Documents

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 signed-in 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.

A total of 193 persons signed-in at the Public Hearing including four elected officials and five local agency staff. Twenty-one persons spoke for the record at the hearing, and FDOT received 165 comments in the form of comment sheets submitted at the hearing, submitted on the study web site, e-mails, and letters following the hearing. Of the responses received, 50% favored the No-Build (Repair) Alternative, and 38% favored bridge replacement. Of the responses that favored replacement, 75% favored the 65-foot High-Level Fixed-Bridge Alternative and 24% favored the 35-foot Mid-Level Drawbridge Alternative. Some comment sheets were submitted with multiple preferences indicated.

 

August 31, 2017 Public Hearing Materials

   

 

Click the items below to view

Display Materials

 

Concept Display Boards

Project Reports from the Public Hearing

 

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 426 completed comment sheets to date.
Results are as follows:

  • No Build (Repair) – 29%
  • Replacement – 67%
    • 21-foot drawbridge – 7%
    • 35-foot drawbridge – 27%
    • 65-foot fixed bridge – 64%

(Note: No-Build (Repair), Replacement and Other percentages do not add to 100% due to comment sheets with multiple preferences.)

The Department reviewed the comments and, together with engineering and environmental analyses, refined the viable build alternatives. Then, we conducted a thorough analysis of potential environmental effects and document the findings in several reports. We also continued coordination with local governmental entities. The recommended build alternatives and the No-Build (Repair) alternative was presented at a formal public hearing where comments were solicited again. The hearing was held on August 31, 2017.


Click the items below to view

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-six 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 59 completed comment sheets at the public meeting and in the comment period that followed the meeting.  Results are as follows:

  • No-Build (Repair) – 15%
  • Rehabilitation – 17%
  • Replace – 59%
    • Low-level drawbridge – 8%
    • Mid-level drawbridge – 43%
    • High-level fixed bridge –  40%

(Note:  Percentages do not add to 100% due to comments with multiple preferences)


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 851 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
• 46% favor replacement of the bridge


Of those in favor of bridge replacement:
• 32% prefer a high-level fixed bridge
• 8% would like a mid-level drawbridge
• 5% prefer a low-level drawbridge
• 1% 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.

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. A total of 168 surveys were received with results indicating 51% favored rehabilitation, which extends the service life of the bridge by 25 years, and 45% favored replacement of the bridge. Of those who preferred bridge replacement, 51% preferred a high-level fixed bridge, 23% preferred a mid-level drawbridge, 14% preferred a low-level drawbridge, and 8% had no preference. Note that 10 surveys indicated a preference for more than one of the above three bridge options; therefore, they were not counted in the results above. Responses to the survey indicated an interest in minimizing the impact on the community, traffic and environmental resources, and to maintain the island aesthetics. There were comments stating an interest in repairing the existing structure, improving safety, and providing wider sidewalks, and protected bike lanes. All of the comments received were taken into consideration in the development of the alternatives.

Survey  
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