CORTEZ – The replacement of the existing Cortez Bridge drawbridge is now expected to happen sooner rather than later. The aging drawbridge will be replaced by a 65-foot-tall fixed span bridge and construction of the new bridge is expected to begin during the Florida Department of Transportation’s 2026 fiscal year. FDOT's fiscal year begins on July 1, 2025 and ends on June 30, 2026.
FDOT’s fiscal year 2026 bridge replacement timetable was referenced in the Jan. 27 presentation L.K. Nandam, district secretary for District One of the Florida Department of Transportation, provided during the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly State of Community series event. Transportation and transportation projects were the focus of Nandam’s Jan. 27 presentation. Nandam’s presentation noted that the existing Anna Maria Bridge on Manatee Avenue, which is also a draw bridge, is currently slated for replacement between fiscal year 2027 and fiscal year 2032.