Braden River Bridge Construction Set


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, April 30, 2019 – Work is expected to start late this year on a bridge over the Braden River as part of the ongoing eastward extension of 44th Avenue East form Cortez Road. When completed, this project would create an east-to-west connector between Lakewood Ranch and the Gulf Coast beaches.

The benefit of a direct corridor to the Gulf waters, surely a draw for Bradenton homes for sale, would come sooner for some communities west of Interstate 75 and Lakewood Ranch. These neighborhoods which spread close to the eastern banks of the Braden River, include the Reserve at Crossing Creek, Stoneledge, Creekwood, and the Ridge at Crossing Creek of Neal Communities.

Paving the way for the Braden River bridge construction, Manatee County approved on March 12th, $5 million for the purchase of some 16.3 acres on the eastern side of the river. Once this land acquisition is completed, 44th Avenue East would be extended from its current dead end on 52nd Street East.

An $89M Span

A 6,900-foot-long, four lane bridge would be constructed to link this western side of Braden River to its eastern banks and onwards to 44th Avenue Plaza East. This eastern area of the river is right at the current junction of 44th Avenue East and Morgan Johnson Road, notably only about a mile from the aforementioned residential communities.

Designed as a low-profile bridge, the Braden River span will be constructed at an estimated cost of $89 million. Its completion is anticipated in 2021, and once the bridge is completed, work focuses on the extension of 44th Avenue East from 44th Avenue Plaza East over Interstate 75. Construction cost of this segment is estimated at $33 million.

Significantly, Neal Communities is already working on the segment at 44th Avenue Plaza East, a key section towards building an overpass over Interstate 75. From this overpass, the 44th Avenue Plaza East extension would proceed to the backdoor of Rosedale Golf & Country Club already just west of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Lakewood Ranch’s master developer, has already built the section of 44th Avenue East from Rosedale’s back entrance east to White Eagle Boulevard. The Lakewood Ranch Stewardship District is currently building from White Eagle sections of the future Bourneside Boulevard to Lakewood Ranch’s easternmost boundary.

Road-widening Set

The entire east‒west 44th Avenue East extension project, which began in 2013, is projected to be finished between 2023 and 2024 at a $150 million‒$200 million total cost. Besides the Braden River bridge, there are other intermediate benefits which would result from this major undertaking under Manatee County’s comprehensive plan.

One initiative associated with the 8-mile extension of 44th Avenue East is the road widening of 45th Street East which connects 44th Avenue south to State Road 70. This one-mile-plus connector is being expanded from two lanes to four at a $9.8 million cost, with completion projected this summer of 2019.

Also due to be completed soon are some road upgrades, such as raised grassy medians, traffic signals at the intersection of 45th Street East and 44th Avenue East, and road widening at Gap Creek which will also feature two pedestrian bridges. Nearby communities which would immediately benefit from these include Fairfax, Sabal Harbour, and the neighborhoods in the golf community of Peridia.