FDOT completes I-75/SR 64 project
Lakewood Ranch park improvements in planning stage
Supervisors on the Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 4 board are taking steps to improve conditions at Greenbrook Adventure Park.
Supervisors on April 17 approved spending about $10,000 to remodel bathrooms at the park’s pavilion. The bathrooms have not been renovated since the facility opened in 2002.
“The bathrooms are in sad shape. It feels like you’re at the beach,” Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 4 Supervisor Mike Griffin said. “It’s time to keep up with any renovations before it becomes really expensive. People bought into this community because of the amenities and the quality of what was promised. We as a board have a responsibility to maintain that level.”
Lakewood Ranch Town Hall Operations Director Paul Chetlain said work has yet to be scheduled, but the renovations likely will take about three weeks. He said some temporary bathroom closures will be required.
Search for county leader delayed
Manatee County commissioners were scheduled to talk about the search for a new county administrator during an April 16 workshop, but discussions were put on hold until May 8. The board on April 23 decided it would allow experience to count as an equivalent to a degree, which would allow the board to name longtime employee Cheri Coryea as permanent administrator if it so chooses. Coryea does not have a college degree, which has been a requirement for the permanent position.
Coryea has served as the acting administrator since March 1, following the retirement of past administrator Ed Hunzeker.
Bank robber arrested
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and charged 57-year-old Randy S. Parent in connection with the April 16 robbery of Wells Fargo, 1815 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch.
Parent has been charged with bank robbery, pursuit, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
According to a Sheriff’s Office press release, law enforcement responded at 2:30 p.m. April 16 to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo. Employees reported a white male entered the bank, demanded cash and then fled.
A vehicle matching the description of the suspect was observed traveling westbound on State Road 64 East just east of Heritage Green Way. The patrol unit attempted to do a traffic stop. The vehicle did not stop and proceeded onto I-75 northbound, at which time police initiated pursuit.
The suspect crossed the median and crashed into the driver’s side of a vehicle that was traveling south bound on I-75, the release stated.
Parent was ordered out of the vehicle multiple times, but refused. A K-9 was deployed and engaged the suspect on the left thigh. Parent was taken into custody and transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Interchange work finished
The Florida Department of Transportation has completed work on the intersection of State Road 64 and
FDOT Project Manager Marlena Gore said Prince Contracting completed the $37 million job with 260 days remaining on its contract. Crews transformed the intersection by removing the I-75 offramp in the northeast corner of the intersection. It carried northbound interstate traffic onto westbound S.R. 64.
The new configuration has a longer northbound exit ramp from which traffic turns east or west at a signalized intersection.
The project also widened bridges across State Road 64, replaced and widened entrance and exit ramps and widened S.R. 64 from 64th Street Court East to Grand Harbour Parkway, among other improvements.
“Overall, it was a really good project,” Gore said, noting construction began in June 2017.
Food drive, shred day scheduled
Lakewood Ranch Town Hall and Grow Financial Credit Union have partnered for a Lakewood Ranch community Shred Day event benefiting The Food Bank of Manatee.
From 9 a.m. to noon April 27, Lakewood Ranch residents can come to Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, or Grow Financial Credit Union, 11008 Arcade Place, Bradenton, to have personal documents shredded at no cost. Shredding services will be provided on-site by ShredQuick.
Only personal paper documents will be accepted, and families will be limited to two banker-box sized boxes. At each location, organizers will be accepting nonperishable food donations for The Food Bank of Manatee.