At a Board of County Commissioners meeting this week, Manatee County public works and engineering staff gave its most detailed update yet of its long-planned 44th Avenue East extension, which will connect Cortez Road and its nearby beaches on the west to Lakewood Ranch, farther east.
County staff is paying for and paving the project as it goes. Funding sources include gas taxes, impact fees, grants from the Florida Department of Transportation and bonds, charting construction plans and applying for permits.
The county has funding, construction plans and permits to complete First to 45th streets. Some land still must be acquired for right-of-way.
Then the project stops, for now, at the Braden River and the waiting continues.
The $112 million project is still eight to 12 years out from completion, awaiting a bridge over Braden River that requires extensive permitting and could take more than three years to obtain.
1,400 petitioners from neighborhoods near 45th Street East, which will be widened from two to four planes in the plan, came out to suggest delaying the project until necessary funding and permits are obtained to cross Braden River.
County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said new proposals can be made when the commission looks at its capital improvement program, when the board looks at his budget in the next few weeks.
He also hinted at a future workshop.
See a complete story on the road project in the May 30 East County Observer.