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September 12, 2006

The Southwest Florida Water Management District and the City of Bradenton have increased the budget for a project that will reduce flooding along Wares Creek.

The Wares Creek Bridge Replacement project involves replacing four bridges and improving the existing stormwater management systems at three locations. The bridges being replaced are at 9th, 12th, 14th and 17th Avenues West. The stormwater management facilities being improved are at 9th and 20th Avenues West and at Riverview Boulevard.

The first phase of this multi-year project is complete. This phase resulted in completed topographic surveys, geo-technical investigations, a hydrologic and hydraulic investigation and the preparation of a preliminary design report.

The District’s Manasota Basin Board budgeted an additional $500,000 in the fiscal year (FY) 2007 budget to pay for additional field survey work, hydraulic and hydrologic studies needed to construct the 9th Avenue bridge. It is anticipated that the District’s Governing Board will review and approve the Basin Board’s budget at its September 26 meeting.

This project is a cooperatively funded effort between the city of Bradenton and the Districts Manasota Basin Board. The total estimated cost of this project is now $8.9 million, with the District’s share being up to $4.45 million.

District funding for future fiscal years is contingent upon basin board approval.

This project stems from the Wares Creek Watershed Management Program, which recommended implementing specific best management practices (BMPs) to help prevent flooding. The project also complements the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ project that involves dredging and widening Wares Creek to provide flood protection.

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