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Manatee County Commission wants to reevaluate roads plan

Rapid growth on Lorraine Road may be evidence a new plan is needed.

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  • | 12:31 p.m. February 7, 2020
  • East County
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Manatee County commissioners discussed a possible reevaluation of their five-year plan for road improvements at the land use meeting Feb. 6.

They said rapid growth, such as six residential properties along the eastern side of Lorraine Road possibly becoming a 150-unit residential community, is a reason for needing change.

At the meeting, the commissioners approved a change to the Comprehensive Plan, which guides development patterns in unincorporated Manatee County, that would allow a developer to triple the number of homes it could build there on the collective 50-acre site.

Michigan-based Windham Development is the contract purchaser for the property, which is located on the east side of Lorraine Road about 500 feet north of the future of Rangeland Parkway extension.

Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh said she is concerned about traffic on Lorraine Road, which is only two lanes between state roads 70 and 64.

“That road is extremely congested,” Baugh said. “For it not to even be on the five-year [capital improvement] plan — it is an issue. The other roads coming are great, but it’s not going to take away the congestion on Lorraine Road.”

Commissioners indicated the change is consistent with development patterns for the area — low- and medium-density residential and support uses that include the approval of 4,576 residential units in the Cresswind, Solera at Lakewood Ranch, The Woodlands and Lakewood Ranch 1000 projects — but said they worried about traffic on Lorraine Road.

Clark Davis, deputy director of transportation for Manatee County Public Works, said the widening of Lorraine Road to four lanes between state roads 70 and 64 isn’t proposed in the county’s five-year capital improvement program, though it is anticipated some time in the future. He said improvements to Lorraine Road between S.R. 70 and 59th Avenue East are coming. Through a public-private partnership, the county is reconfiguring that section of roadway to foster better traffic flow along Lorraine Road and into the existing and upcoming commercial and residential uses there.

The county also has scheduled to signalize the intersections of Lorraine Road at Rangeland Parkway and 44th Avenue East. That work likely will not be finished for at least six months, Davis said.


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