Hello FISH Member,
Well it has been a few months since our last email to our membership and now we feel the need to reach out and enlighten all our members on an issue that will have a significant impact on the Historic village of Cortez.
Many of you may know that for years we have been fighting the plans for a 65′ Fix Span High Rise Bridge. A Bridge that will split this community in two, requires a new Frontage Road for accessing Business by the water since this new structure will require a 20 ft high retaining wall be built 350′ to 400′ into the Village, thereby blocking access to a number of streets on the southside of Cortez Rd and 127th St on the Northside. Here is a picture of the new frontage road:
Per FDOT’s own admission there will be absolutely NO IMPROVEMENT to West Bound Traffic and the only improvement for those coming eastbound will be to those coming from LongBoat Key, they will be able to exit the island 1 minute 46 seconds faster than they do today!! Yeah, great idea to destroy this village and the safety of its residents for a 1minute 46 seconds!!
We have been Challenging this Bridge since March 2019 in Federal Court but now it is getting real. We had Court required Mediation on August 25th. Unfortunately though we offered to compromise on a new 35′ Bascule (Draw) Bridge, which would meet the needs of both the community and the needs of FDOT to replace a failing Bridge, FDOT didn’t budge and neither did we so now it is off to Court. We have hired an Attorney, in fact two for the price of one, to help us with this case. We truly believe that FDOT failed in several legal requirements needed to be completed before approving this atrocity! But now we need your support, both financially and by writing letters.
Here is a link to our Go Fund Me Page any donation will be greatly appreciated. Just Click here Stop the Mega Bridge Cortez
or here ; www.gofundme.com/f/stop-the-mega-bridge-from-devastating-cortez
If you want to contribute but don’t want to use the Go Fund Me page you are welcome to contribute by mailing a check to FISH PO Box 606, Cortez, FL 34215 Please place "Bridge Fund" on the Memo line of your check.
Please write to FDOT District #1 Secretary LK Nandam ask him to compromise with citizens in accepting the 35′ DrawBridge.
Address your comments to: Honorable Sec. L.K. Nandam Email: l.nandam or Mail to: 801 N. Broadway Ave., Bartow, FL 33830 Phone: 863-519-2201
1st and foremost speak from the heart.
1. Ask FDOT to compromise and build the 35’ Bascule (draw) Bridge. a.) It meets the goal of FDOT to replace a functionally failing bridge b.) it also meets the needs of the two communities and their residents most impacted by the physical structure, Cortez and Bradenton Beach.
2. You can talk about the flooding and the building and increasing hard structures in the Floodplain. The impacts of 12′-20′ walls and our fear of what happens to properties adjacent to these very high walls if there were a storm surge, especially Cortez Park. All their structures are on the ground, nothing is elevated.
3. Also the view shed and light pollution impacts that will be had when this 65′ Bridge is built. Remember the true road-deck height is 75′ NOT 65′
4. Finally the impact this Bridge will have on the Historic Village of Cortez. We are not talking Impacts to the physical structures, but the Culture, Industry and citizens that have called this Historic Village HOME for over 132 years!
This is so important, please help in any way you can. If you have friends who might not be members of FISH but would oppose this horrible bridge and the damage it will do please forward this to them. You are welcome to cut and paste the Go Fund Me Link to your Social Media Pages (FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram ect…) Here it is again:
Thanks and lets take care of what we have for it is slowly slipping away!
Jane von Hahmann