Concept Drawn for New Anna Maria Span


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, May 18th, 2017 – The location of Bradenton Beach condos Sunbow Bay, Sandy Pointe and Westbay Cove promises to get even more scenic, judging from the aesthetical design recommended for the new Anna Maria Island Bridge planned for construction just north of these properties.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has already determined that a high-level fixed bridge will replace the current Anna Maria span built in 1957 at the western end of SR 64. While the final structural design plans of the new bridge are yet to be drawn, recommendations on how it will look was completed in April and opened a preview for prospective buyers of Anna Maria condos for sale.

Canvas of an Iconic Bridge

Concept Drawn for New Anna Maria Span

The Anna Maria Island Bridge Aesthetics Advisory Committee, the FDOT body tasked with coming up with those recommendations, amongst other things proposed a span with mudline footing and sunset-shaped panel railing. The other bridge features it recommended include wall impressions of turtles, manatees and pelicans, and blue hammerhead piers with sea turtle designs.

The committee likewise suggested that the bridge’s aesthetics focus on bold landscaping with emphasis on trees rather than shrubbery. Grouped native palm trees lining the road and canopy trees, like silver buttonwood, are recommended. Small pocket parks with palm trees and benches on both landing ends of the bridge and a trail for bikers and pedestrians on both sides of the span are also included in the committee’s recommendations.

Motorist-Friendly: No Drawbridge

The new span, estimated to cost about $84 million, will be built approximately 14 feet south of the existing bridge and allow 65 feet of vertical navigational clearance. Its fixed-span feature would help ease traffic between Anna Maria and the mainland, officials say, because this would result in less traffic queuing compared with the drawbridge operation of the existing span.

Meanwhile, more immediate steps to alleviate seasonal traffic congestion between the island and mainland are also under consideration. At the southern approach to Anna Maria, the FDOT is considering mainland improvements on the Cortez Road intersection at 119th Street. A study on island-side improvements to address the seasonal increase in traffic to Anna Maria Island has likewise been launched.

Bike Paths Shaping Up

Less car use can also be expected for neighborhoods like Sunbow Bay, Sandy Pointe and Westbay Cove. A portion of an official bicycle path for their Holmes Beach locality was presented recently. This proposed portion will run from Gulf Drive northward to Holmes Boulevard, 52nd Street then to Second Avenue onward to the public beach. Other areas in the planned bike path include a route on Marina Drive, another on Sixth Avenue connecting to Manatee Avenue, and two others from the public beach to Bradenton Beach.

A free trolley service currently operating in the island aptly complements these traffic alleviation efforts and the planned replacement bridge. Notably, north and southbound stops of the free trolley are located in front of the Sunbow Bay and Sandy Pointe, both of which are certain to get plus points amongst prospective buyers of Anna Maria condos for sale.