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Meetings on Cortez Bridge replacement to be held Aug. 26th, 31st

CORTEZ – The stage is set for the final showdown on the future of the Cortez Bridge.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has scheduled a final Project Development and Environment meeting on the 60-year-old drawbridge on Thursday, Aug 31, at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, 6101 Cortez Road W. in Bradenton. The hearing starts at 5 p.m. with message boards and maps and project officials who will be available to answer questions. Around 6 p.m., there will a video and more questions. Attendees will have the opportunity to express their preferences.

Local Cortez residents are meeting to prepare public testimony for the FDOT meeting, on Saturday Aug. 26th at 1:30 p.m. in Fishermen's Hall, 4511 124th St. W., Cortez. Many local residents want the bridge repaired and preserved as an iconic representative of the “low-rise” fishing village it serves. Bridge inspections between 2008 and 2012 determined the two-lane Cortez Bridge is structurally obsolete although it remains sound. The 61-year-old bridge is 11 years past its projected 50-year service life. More information from F.I.S.H. »