Manatee County will host a public meeting on the proposed Fort Hamer Bridge project from 4 to 6:30 p.m. tonight, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto.
The U.S. Coast Guard will chair the meeting, which is one of the last steps for securing final site-plan approval for the bridge.
After months of delay, the U.S. Coast Guard released a draft of the URS Corp.’s environmental-impact statement June 25.
The document indicates the need for a bridge connecting Fort Hamer Park to Upper Manatee River Road near the Waterlefe community remains.
Manatee County hired URS, a Tampa-based provider of engineering, construction and technical services for public- and private-sector companies, to complete the EIS.
The Coast Guard required Manatee County to expand its environmental impact statement to include the Rye Road Bridge and determine whether it could meet the county’s need for a north-south route, after residents from Waterlefe, in July 2010, rallied against the two-lane bridge project.
The EIS draft concludes the proposed Fort Hamer Bridge is the best alternative to satisfy the need for an alternative north/south transportation route between areas east of I-75.
The EIS draft was made available on the federal docket July 5.
Manatee County and the Coast Guard will receive public feedback on the EIS draft at the public meeting.
See a previous East County Observer story on the bridge at http://www.yourobserver.com/news/east-county/Front-Page/0626201327763/Fort-Hamer-Bridge-plan-moves-closer-to-approval.
Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].