Frustration over traffic congestion on Longboat Key has commissioners questioning whether the island’s two bridges are operating properly and opening and closing at the proper times.
Vice Mayor David Brenner sent an email to Town Manager Dave Bullock Wednesday, questioning who schedules the bridge openings and noting the openings conflict with buses operating on the island.
“From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at New Pass the bridge could open every 20 minutes and we can only get the buses to stop once an hour,” Brenner wrote in his email. “They both have a negative effect on GMD traffic.”
Bullock responded by explaining the U.S. Coast Guard sets the hours of the New Pass Bridge and Longboat Pass Bridge. But there was an adjustment to the New Pass Bridge at the town’s request a few years back.
The New Pass Bridge opens on the hour and every 20 minutes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other openings are made upon the request of boaters.
The Longboat Pass Bridge, however, opens on demand 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
The Cortez Bridge and Anna Maria Bridge, meanwhile, open on the hour and every half hour from Jan. 15 through May 15. Those openings reduce to on the hour and every 20 minutes from May 16 through Jan. 14.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].