+ Bridge comparisons are ‘apples to oranges’
In response to the article about the Fort Hamer Bridge in the Aug. 15 edition of the East County Observer, let me comment on the statement concerning cost.
You say, as does Mr. Peate, that the cost of the Fort Hamer Bridge will be $30.2 million, and the Rye Road alternative would be $80.8 million. That is like comparing apples to watermelons.
The Fort Hamer Bridge will be a two-lane bridge with no improvements to either the north or south side two-lane roads approaching the bridge. The Rye Bridge would be a four-lane bridge, two lanes of which would be new, with widening the roadways from State Road 64 to Golf Course Road to four lanes.
Why do we need to make the Rye Road Bridge four lanes when millions were recently spent to build a new bridge at the same site? The Fort Hamer Bridge will be 2,570 feet long, and the Rye Bridge is a couple of hundred feet long. Hardly the same in either case!
The $30 million cost for the Fort Hamer Bridge is based on costs projected several years ago. My bet is the Fort Hamer Bridge will cost well more than $50 million by the time construction starts in two years. By the way, the Fort Hamer Bridge has never been described as a hurricane evacuation route.
Do you know what was really lost here? When this project was proposed 12 years ago, it was a federal project paid for by the government. The county commissioners, in their wisdom, pulled out of the project just after the DEIS was completed. The rules, etc., for this project are the same as 12 years ago, but the difference is that now the county is footing the bill.
+ Hurricane season is in full force
We really are in the middle of hurricane season.
At this time of year, most people have, or should have, prepared for the inevitable hurricane that will affect our area. If you are one of the few who has grown complacent or misplaced your Hurricane Guide, you are not alone.
But, you can have access to valuable information at your fingertips 24 hours a day by logging on to lwrcert.org
On this valuable site, you will find information on planning and preparing your home for a hurricane and what supplies, and how much to have on hand, to get you and your family through the storm. You will also find data about the county disaster-shelter system, including human special-needs shelters and pet-friendly shelters.
You should review the Lakewood Ranch CERT website for traffic routes, if you plan to evacuate and what you need to take with you. The decision to go or stay is entirely your decision. For the safety of your loved ones, be prepared now, one way or the other, to stay or go.
In addition to information on the next training dates to become certified as a Lakewood Ranch Community Emergency Response Team volunteer, you will find valuable links to county, state and federal disaster resources. Remember go to www.lwrcert.org
Lakewood Ranch CERT