Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Manatee County plans for improvements

As Manatee County commissioners round out the budget for the 2016 fiscal year, they have allotted funding for some big capital projects in their five-year plan.

  • By
  • | 6:00 a.m. June 17, 2015
  • East County
  • News
  • Share

EAST COUNTY— East County is exploding with new development, and new development brings the need for new infrastructure.

Manatee County commissioners took their first look at the county’s Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2016 to 2020 during a budget workshop June 11.

County Administrator Ed Hunzeker and department heads presented details for projects totaling $547.48 million over that five-year period.

The East County Observer breaks down upcoming projects in eastern Manatee County.


44th Avenue East to 45th Street plaza
  • $38.1 million
  • Completion date: February 2020
  • What’s happening: The county is building 1.2 miles of road to connect 45th Street East to Caruso Road. The east/west thoroughfare will include a four-lane divided roadway and a bridge over the Braden River. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in July 2017, and completion is expected in February 2020. The county has spent $168,666 on the project to date. The remaining expenses will be paid over a four-year period and funded by impact fees and debt proceeds. The allotments are as follows:


44th Avenue East to Lakewood Ranch Boulevard
  • $25.9 million
  • Completion date: February 2019
  • What is happening: The county is extending 44th Avenue East out to Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to alleviate traffic pressure on state roads 64 and 70. This stretch would include 1.9 miles of four-lane, divided roadway with an overpass across Interstate 75, bike lanes and sidewalks. Design began in February, and the county has not yet spent funds for this project. However, $500,000 is allotted for fiscal year 2015. Construction will begin in August 2016, and the project is projected to be complete by February 2019. The project will be funded by debt proceeds in Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 — $19.9 million in 2017 and $5.5 million in 2018.


Lake Manatee Dam repairs
  • $24.5 million
  • Completion date: September 2016
  • What's happening: In 2014, county staff identified failures in the Lake Manatee Dam that required emergency repairs. Construction began in April 2014 to mitigate the problems. The county is in the process of replacing 300 feet of grouted columns and 3,100 feet of wall in the dam core to gain control of seepage. The project has cost $18.19 million through fiscal year 2015. The projected completion date is September 2016. The county will spend the remaining $5.4 million budgeted for the project in fiscal year 2016.


Hidden Harbor park development and wetland maintenance
  • $2.9 million
  • Completion date: September and December 2016
  • What is happening: The county acquired the 200-acre Hidden Harbor Park preserve property in 2004, located near Fort Hamer Park along the Manatee River. In one project, the county is developing the land for landscaping and irrigation, utilities and entry roads, parking and park amenities. Upgrades will cost $1.3 million. Design and construction began in 2009 and will continue through September 2016. The project will receive $1.2 million from the county in the current fiscal year. The second project will create new wetlands and uplands and remove exotic vegetation at a cost of $1.6 million. Construction began in June 2012 and is projected to end in December 2016. The habitat maintenance project will be funded by a Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) grant. The county has budgeted the remaining $1.5 million for fiscal year 2016.


Lake Manatee Water Treatment Plant Ultra Filtration upgrade
  • $49.5 million
  • Completion date: September 2019
  • What is happening: Lake Manatee Water Treatment Plant’s filtration system is being retrofitted with an ultra filtration membrane. The current equipment at the 45-year-old plant is outdated and risks failure. Design has been ongoing since 2016. Construction is slated to begin in June 2017 and end in September 2019. The county has spent $2.08 million on the project and has also appropriated $2.4 million for the current fiscal year. The county has allocated $28 million for 2017 and $15 million for 2018.


Lakewood Ranch Soccer Field lights
  • $450,000
  • Completion date: September 2017
  • What is happening: The Lakewood Ranch soccer field does not have enough field lighting to accommodate a growing youth population of users. The county will seek to find a lighting solution that will allow expanded use while minimizing light pollution to neighbors. Construction on this project would begin in October 2016 and is projected to finish by September 2017. The additional lighting is expected to cost $15,000 annually to maintain and operate.


Related Articles