Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway Corridor Management Plan


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Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway 
 
Corridor Management Plan 
 
 
Submitted to: 
Florida Department of Transportation 
District One 
Scenic Highways Coordinator 
Post Office Box 1249 
Bartow, Florida 33831-1249 
863-519-2300 
 
Submitted by: 
The Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway Corridor Advocacy Group 
John Chappie, Chairman 
c/o City of Bradenton Beach 
107 Gulf Drive North 
Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217 
941-778-1005 
 
Prepared by: 
Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin Lopez Rinehart, Inc. 
Community Planners 
33 East Pine Street 
Orlando, Florida 32801 
 
 
 
October 2000

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page i 
 
 
FLORIDA SCENIC HIGHWAYS PROGRAM 
MISSION STATEMENT 
 
The Florida Scenic Highways Program Mission Statement reflects the interconnected nature of 
Florida’s roadways, resources and communities. 
 
The Florida Scenic Highways Program will preserve, maintain, protect, and 
enhance the intrinsic resources of scenic corridors through a sustainable balance 
of conservation and land use.  Through community-based consensus and 
partnerships, the program will promote economic prosperity and broaden the 
traveler’s overall recreational and educational experience.
 
 
The Florida Scenic Highways Program focuses on community-based support and resource protection 
while seeking to promote regional economic benefits that may result from designation.  These 
highways strive to educate travelers by “telling a story” that is representative of Florida lifestyles of 
the past and present.  The ultimate goal of the Florida Scenic Highways Program, however, is to 
preserve, maintain, and enhance Florida’s unique intrinsic resources.
 
 
 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page ii 
 
 
Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway 
 
E
XECUTIVE 
S
UMMARY
 
 
The designation of SR 789, otherwise known as Gulf Drive, as part of the State Scenic Highway 
Program was initiated by Bradenton Beach officials, residents, and business owners.  A Corridor 
Advisory Group (CAG) was developed and a letter of intent was submitted to the Florida 
Department of Transportation on February 14, 2000, to consider the 2.8-mile long segment of Gulf 
Drive, within the city limits of Bradenton Beach, as a Florida Scenic Highway.  The surrounding 
communities of Holmes Beach, Longboat Key and Anna Maria were initially invited to join the 
process and include the remaining 4.2 miles of Gulf Drive in the scenic highway program, however, 
they declined participation at this time.   
 
Since the initial letter of intent, the CAG implemented a community participation program, 
developed their vision for the scenic highway, submitted the eligibility application, and prepared the 
Corridor Management Plan.  The Corridor Management Plan includes an inventory of the corridor’s 
natural, historic, scenic and built resources; goals and strategies for preservation and enhancement of 
these resources; and a detailed action plan to implement the community’s vision.  
 
Several approaches to initiate public input were used to gather comments on the community vision 
and to assist in prioritizing improvements for the corridor including a community participation 
survey, public workshop, informal interviews, and public CAG meetings.  A Corridor Management 
Entity has been formed.  This entity will be responsible for implementing and monitoring the 
activities that take place in the corridor.  Additionally, the Entity will serve as the caretaker of the 
corridor to ensure the action plan contained in this Corridor Management Plan is implemented in a 
timely and effective manner. 
 
Scenic Highway designation is an opportunity to implement a comprehensive vision that is 
supported by the community.  Partnerships and unique funding strategies will be the cornerstone to a 
successful Scenic Highway Program.  The intent of the Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway is to 
preserve and enhance the corridor’s existing natural, historical, scenic and social resources that 
characterize the City of Bradenton Beach’s quality of life. 
 
 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page iii 
 
 
 
Conceptual Master Plan insert 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page iv 
 
 
A
CTION 
P
LAN
 
 
The Action Plan for the Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway establishes a timeline for implementing 
the proposed improvements in the Conceptual Master Plan.  The Action Plan focuses on the 
immediate future (2000-2010) and is categorized into three sections: Corridor 
Improvements/Enhancements; Promotion and Community Participation; and 
Administration/Coordination.  The action items are arranged by year of proposed implementation as 
well as by priority of action. 
 
 Responsible 
Agency 
Funding/Partnership 
Opportunities 
Corridor Improvements
 
Short Term (0-5 years) 
Crosswalks (locations are 
programmed) 
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Florida Department of 
Transportation 
Transportation Equity Act - 21st Century, 
Public/Private Partnerships 
Gateways 
City of Bradenton Beach 
Florida Highway Beautification Council Grant 
Program, Donations, Fundraising, FDOT 
Landscaping Grant Program, Public/Private 
Partnership 
Wayfinding Program 
City of Bradenton Beach 
Scenic Byway Program, Donations, Fundraising, 
Public/Private Partnership 
Comprehensive parking 
study 
Manatee County, 
Manatee/Sarasota 
Metropolitan Planning 
Organization, City of 
Bradenton Beach, Florida 
Department of 
Transportation 
Agency Partnership 
Comprehensive drainage 
study 
Manatee County, 
Manatee/Sarasota 
Metropolitan Planning 
Organization, City of 
Bradenton Beach, Florida 
Department of 
Transportation 
Agency Partnership, Rural Community Water and 
Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program 
Lifeguard towers 
Manatee County 
Public/Private Partnership, Scenic Byway 
Program, Fundraising 
Bicycle Lanes 
Florida Department of 
Transportation 
Transportation Equity Act - 21st Century, 
Highway Beautification Grants Program, 
Transportation Enhancement Program 
Bus stop shelters 
Manatee County, 
Manatee/Sarasota MPO 
Transportation Equity Act - 21st Century 
Beach Renourishment
 
City of Bradenton Beach
 
Congressional Appropriations
 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page v 
 
 
 
 Responsible 
Agency 
Funding/Partnership 
Opportunities 
Corridor Improvements (cont’d)
 
Trolley Service 
Manatee County Board of 
County Commissioners, 
Island Transportation 
Planning Organization, 
Florida Department of 
Transportation, Manatee 
County Area Transit  
Transit Corridor Grant, Section 5307 FTA Capital 
Funds, Federal Bus Replacement Funds, Florida 
State Procurement Program 
Restore Coquina Beach 
Manatee County Parks and 
Recreation Department 
County Capitol Improvement Program, Keep 
Manatee Beautiful,  Public/Private Partnerships, 
Donations,  
Long Term (0-10 years) 
Sidewalks with landscaping 
and lighting 
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Florida Department of 
Transportation, 
Manatee/Sarasota MPO 
Transportation Equity Act - 21st Century, Florida 
Highway Beautification Council Grant Program, 
Florida Department of Transportation 
Landscaping Grant Program, Public/Private 
Partnership, Donations, Fundraising, Keep 
Manatee Beautiful 
Street End Facilities (shelter, 
parking, trash receptacle) 
City of Bradenton Beach   Transportation Equity Act - 21st Century, 
Public/Private Partnership 
Corridor landscaping 
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Local Businesses 
Transportation Equity Act - 21st Century, Florida 
Highway Beautification Council Grant Program, 
Scenic Byway Grant, Florida Department of 
Transportation Landscaping Grant Program 
Revegetation of public 
beaches with native 
vegetation/removal of exotic 
species 
Manatee County, City of 
Bradenton Beach, 
Southwest Florida Water 
Management District 
Florida Coastal Management Grants Program, 
Marine Resources Grants Program, Florida Beach 
Erosion Control Program, Water Management 
District Grants, Scenic Byway Grant, Keep 
Manatee Beautiful, Public/Private Partnership, 
Donations, Fundraising 
Improve beach groin for 
beach preservation and 
fishing recreation 
Manatee County, City of 
Bradenton Beach, 
Southwest Florida Water 
Management District 
Florida Coastal Management Grants Program, 
Artificial Fishing Reef Program, Beach Erosion 
Control Program, Florida Recreation 
Development Assistance Program, Keep Florida 
Beautiful, Keep Manatee Beautiful, Public/Private 
Partnership, Fundraising, Donations 
Dune Walkover Construction  
Manatee County, City of 
Bradenton Beach,  
Florida Coastal Management Grants Program, 
Marine Resources Grants Program, Florida Beach 
Erosion Control Program, Water Management 
District Grants, Scenic Byway Grant, Keep 
Manatee Beautiful, Public/Private Partnership, 
Donations, Fundraising 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page vi 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Responsible 
Agency
 
Funding/Partnership 
Opportunities
 
Corridor Improvements (cont’d) 
Open-air performing arts 
Pavilion 
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Manatee County 
Florida Recreation Development Assistance 
Program, Cultural Facilities Program, 
Public/Private Partnership, Donations, 
Fundraising 
Visitor Center 
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Manatee County 
Florida Recreation Development Assistance 
Program, Cultural Facilities Program, 
Public/Private Partnership, Donations, 
Fundraising 
Information Kiosks 
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Manatee County 
Florida Recreation Development Assistance 
Program, Cultural Facilities Program, 
Public/Private Partnership, Donations, 
Fundraising 
Environmental Education 
Center 
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Manatee County  
Florida Recreation Development Assistance 
Program, Science Museum Program, Florida 
Advisory Council on Environmental Education, 
Environmental Education Grants Program 
Promotional/Community Participation 
Printed brochure 
Anna Maria Island 
Chamber of Commerce, 
Corridor Management 
Entity, City of Bradenton 
Beach, local businesses  
Fundraising, Donations, Public/Private 
Partnership 
Update videotape promoting 
the Scenic Highway  
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Florida Department of 
Transportation 
Fundraising, Donations, Public/Private 
Partnership 
Internet/Web Page 
promoting the Scenic 
Highway  
City of Bradenton Beach, 
Manatee County, Anna 
Maria Island Chamber of 
Commerce 
Fundraising, Donations, Public/Private 
Partnership 
Visitor Center  
City of Bradenton Beach Fundraising, 
Donations, 
Public/Private 
Partnership 
Festivals and Special Events  City of Bradenton Beach, 
County Library, Tingley 
Library, County Schools, 
Local Businesses, Service 
Groups, Anna Maria 
Chamber of Commerce 
Fundraising, Donations, Public/Private 
Partnership 
Administration/Coordination
 
Coordinate/Schedule 
Vegetation Management 
Manatee County, City of Bradenton Beach 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page vii 
 
 
 
Responsible 
Agency
 
Funding/Partnership 
Opportunities
 
Administration/Coordination (cont’d) 
Initiate Comprehensive 
Parking Study 
Manatee/Sarasota MPO, Manatee County, City of Bradenton Beach 
Apply for funding for 
proposed improvements 
City of Bradenton Beach, Corridor Management Entity  
Review/Revise Corridor 
Management Plan 
City of Bradenton Beach, Corridor Management Entity  
Facilitate Traffic Flow Study  City of Bradenton Beach, Manatee County, Florida Department of 
Transportation 
 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page viii 
 
 
 
C
ORRIDOR ADVOCACY GROUP
 
 
Officers  
John Chappie, Chairperson 
City of Bradenton Beach 
Mollie Sandberg, Vice-Chairperson 
Resident 
 
 
Members 
 
Stephen Ananicz 
Resident 
Mary Ann Brockman 
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce 
Harry Brown 
Resident 
Ed Chiles 
Resident 
Lt. John Cosby 
Bradenton Beach Police Department 
Judy Giovanelli 
Resident 
Jack Gorzman 
Manatee County Environmental Project 
Bob Herrington 
Sarasota/Manatee metropolitan Planning Organization 
Danny Hopkins 
Manatee County Parks and Recreation 
Fawn L. Ker 
Resident 
Susan B. King 
Florida Department of Transportation 
Fran LaSpina 
Resident 
Steve Minnis 
Southwest Florida Water Management District 
Russell Moore 
Resident 
Michael Rappaport 
Resident 
George Sinclair 
Resident 
Emily Anne Smith 
Resident 
Neil Spirtas 
Manatee County Chamber of Commerce 
Mick Vorbezk 
Resident 
Buddy Watts 
Bradenton Beach Public Works Department 
Lee Ann Bessonette 
City of Bradenton Beach 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page ix 
 
 
T
ABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Section  
Page 
Number 
1 Corridor 
Story 


Opportunities and Constraints 

 Corridor 
Description 

 Roadway/Right 
of 
Way 

 
Existing Resource Conditions 
12 
 
Existing Land Use and Zoning 
14 
 
Future Land Use 
16 
 
Sign Inventory – City, County, State 
18 
 Safety 
Issues 
18 
 
Traffic Volumes and User Types 
19 
 
Level of Service 
21 
 Transportation 
Plans 
22 
 Roadway 
Improvements 
23 
 
Natural Resource Protection Programs 
23 
 Other 
Programs 
25 
 Summary 
25 
3 Corridor 
Vision 
26 

Goals, Objectives and Strategies 
27 

Community Participation Program 
32 
 Program 
Overview 
32 
 
Notification and Public Information 
32 
 
Public Meetings and Opportunities for Public Input 
34 
 
Marketing and Promotion 
40 
6 Conceptual 
Master 
Plan 
41 

Funding and Promotion 
64 

Corridor Management Entity 
68 
 9 
Protection Techniques 
69 
10 
Relationship to Comprehensive Plan 
74 
11 Action 
Plan 
75 
 
 
 
Appendices (Under Separate Binding) 
 
 
Opportunities and Constraints 
 
OC-A 
FDOT Right of Way Map 
 
OC-B 
SR 789 Sign Inventory 
 
OC-C 
FDOT Outdoor Advertising Control 
 
OC-D 
SR 789 Task Force Report 
 
OC-E 
FDOT Accident Report 
 
OC-F 
Trolley Service Agreement 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page x 
 
 
 Community 
Participation 
 
CP-A 
Corridor Advocacy Group Meeting List 
 
CP-B 
Property Owner Mailing List 
 
CP-C 
Public Meeting Announcement 
 
 
Relationship to Comprehensive Plan 
 
RP-A 
Relevant Goals, Objectives and Policies 
 
 Other 
Documentation 
 
 
Newsletters, Handouts and Comment Forms 
 
 
Interview Data Forms 
 
 
Letters of Support 
 
 
Articles 
 
 
Corridor Impression Surveys 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Corridor Story 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 1 
C
ORRIDOR 
S
TORY
 
 
State Road 789, otherwise known as Gulf Drive, is more 
than the north-south route on Anna Maria Island; it is 
the living artery of the Island that tells the story of 
unspoiled island village charm.  There are very few 
places left in Florida that preserve the environmental, 
cultural and historical assets of  “Old Florida.”   
 
The portion of Gulf Drive that travels through the 
unique island community of Bradenton Beach serves as 
a window to the historic roots of Bradenton Beach and 
Anna Maria Island while highlighting the area’s growth 
and changing character.  The corridor’s story is probably 
not known to visitors and may not be fully recognized 
by Bradenton Beach residents.  The scenic highway 
designation will provide the City of Bradenton Beach 
the opportunity to share the Bradenton Beach story.  
 
Bradenton Beach is one of three historic cities located 
along Anna Maria Island. Named and chartered before 
Florida became part of the United States, the picturesque 
seven-mile island is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico 
 
Bradenton Beach in the 1950's  
An aerial of Gulf Drive  

Corridor Story 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 2 
on the west, Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Sound on the 
east and Sarasota Bay to the south.  There are three 
stories on how Anna Maria Island was named.  The first 
and most notable story is the Island was named in honor 
of Mary, the mother of Christ and her mother Ann.  
Another story tells us that the first Spanish explorer 
named the Island after his mother, Anna Maria.  Finally, 
the third story explains, the Mayor of Tampa, Madison 
Post, while establishing homestead on the Island, sent a 
map to the U.S. Surveying Headquarters, naming the 
Island Anna Ma-rye-a, after his wife Maria Jane and her 
sister, Anna.  The Island was officially named Anna 
Maria in 1948 by the Woman’s Club of Anna Maria 
Island. 
 
Anna Maria is an integral part of Florida’s history and 
was originally explored around 1530 by Spanish 
adventurers.  Conquistador Cabeza de Vaca, describes 
the Islands original inhabitants, the Timucuan Indians, 
as fierce fighters.  He wrote “I have seen an arrow 
buried half a foot in a tree.  The Indian’s arrows were as 
thick as my arms, twelve hand spans in length and shot 
at 20 paces with such sureness they missed nothing.”  
The Timucuan Indians were weavers of fishing nets and 
baskets and experts in shellcraft and pottery.  Their 
weapons consisted of flint tipped arrows, spears, large 
war clubs, flint blade knives, and axes. 
 
It is estimated there were approximately 3,000 
Timucuan in the area when the Spaniards arrived, 
however there are no remnants of the Island’s original 
inhabitants today.  Burial mounds on the Island were 
destroyed when the Island was opened to homesteaders.  
Presumably, the Timucuan Indians were eradicated by a 
combination of the following forces; epidemic diseases 
introduced by European, transport to the Carolinas and 
enslavement to work in the tobacco plantations, and 
absorbed by the Seminole Indian tribe. 
  
By 1890, the Island was surveyed and opened for 
farming by the United States Government.  The Island’s 
first permanent settlers were the George Emerson Bean 
family who settled on the North Point of the Island in 
1893.  Vegetable crops raised by island farmers, which 
Beachgoers in the 1900's  
Timucuan Indian  

Corridor Story 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 3 
included beans and tomatoes, were sold at the Forton 
Market on Egmont Key.  According to one of the 
Island’s early homesteaders, Captain John R. Jones, “it 
should be noted that good fresh water can be obtained 
almost anywhere on this key at a depth of 10 to 12 feet 
and these wells never run dry”. 
  
By 1911, there were only a few scattered homes of 
hardy pioneers.  That same year, Charles Roser, a.k.a. 
the Fig Newton King because he created and sold the 
recipe of the popular cookie to Nabisco; George 
Wilhelm Bean, the son of G.E. Bean and others formed 
the Anna Maria Beach Company, the Island’s first major 
developer.  The Anna Maria Beach Company laid out 
streets and sidewalks; built houses, businesses and a 
water system; and marketed the Island as “an island 
resort on the coast of Florida.”  Anna Maria quickly 
established itself as the first west coast resort 
development area that provided many amenities 
including a hotel, dock, cottages, bathhouses and 
pavilions.  The Island became popular for picnicking
swimming, boating and fishing, and its reputation, as an 
“island resort” became its calling card. 
 
For years, the only way to Anna Maria was by steamers 
that operated three times a week.  The roadway system 
consisted of “sand rut roads”, and transportation about 
the Island was by horse and wagon.  As the Island’s 
popularity grew so did the demand for a more 
sophisticated roadway network that would allow 
residents and vacationers to travel by their transportation 
mode of preference, the automobile.  In response to 
popular demand, the Board of County Commissioners 
approved the construction of the first bridge to connect 
Anna Maria to the mainland.   
 
Upon its completion, Cortez Bridge, which spanned 
from Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach across Sarasota 
Bay to the City of Bradenton, was a shaky and narrow 
wooden bridge.  The bridge was so narrow that if a truck 
or bus were traveling on the bridge, cars would have to 
wait on the other end.  Originally scheduled to open in 
1921, the bridge was not officially opened to the public 
until July 4, 1922 due to the Category 3 hurricane, “The 
Bath Pavilion circa 1924  
Cortez Bridge under construction  
Cortez Bridge circa 1922  

Corridor Story 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 4 
Big One of ‘21’.  The Cortez Bridge, served as the 
Island’s only link to the mainland for approximately 
forty years.  
 
The construction of SR 789, which was originally 
plotted as Snapper Street, allowed residents and visitors 
to travel the area in their highly prized “Model T’s.”  
This new freedom of movements and the boom period of 
the 1930’s sparked a substantial growth trend on the 
Island, particularly in the area now known as Bradenton 
Beach.  Large volumes of land began selling at an 
increasing rate; summer cottages and bungalows began 
to appear along Gulf Drive, particularly in the areas of 
16
th
 and 17
th
 Streets North and Gulf Drive.  Summer 
cottages became the main development in the area, 
catering to the growing tourism industry. 
 
The State of Florida, the State Road Department, and the 
Manatee County Commission intended SR 789 to be 
known as the “GO Route” or the Gulf to Ocean 
Highway, which would run from the Gulf of Mexico to 
the Atlantic Ocean.  In 1935, Gulf Drive was officially 
designated as a State Road, ensuring its maintenance by 
the State of Florida.  The Island continued to attract 
residents and visitors, leading to plans by the State Road 
Department to connect the Island to the mainland 
through a network of bridges in the 1950s.  The ability 
to move people easily from the mainland and around the 
Island became a strong marketing tool and spurred 
tremendous growth in visitation, residences, businesses, 
and municipal structure.   
 
SR 789 and Bridge Street allowed Bradenton Beach to 
become the main hub of activity for the entire Island 
community.  The strong transportation network also 
served as the lifeline for island residents and visitors 
during Hurricanes Betsy, Elena, and Andrew. 
 
Unfortunately, the construction of a new bridge in 1957, 
which linked to the mainland at Cortez Avenue, replaced 
the unique wooden bridge structure as passage to the 
mainland.  Bridge Street eventually lost its credibility as 
an activity center and slowly the area began to 
deteriorate.  However, in the late ‘80’s, area residents, 
elected officials, property, and business owners, initiated 
Bridge Street circa 1947  
City Clerk's Office  

Corridor Story 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 5 
grassroots efforts to renovate and revitalize the 
deteriorating historic Bridge Street District and the 
remaining dilapidated portions the Cortez Bridge.  After 
receiving funding from various sources including the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Small Cities 
Community Development Block Grant, and private 
donations, Bradenton Beach was able to complete 
various renovation projects and revitalize the Historic 
District.   
 
These renovation projects included repairing structural 
damages to the bridge and adding guardrails, a gazebo, 
and a pavilion.  Furthermore, a new boardwalk, which 
leads to the Pier, a four-sided wooden clock tower, 
wooden benches, and additional amenities, were 
constructed for residents and visitors to enjoy.  Today, 
the newly renovated Bridge Street leads residents and 
visitors through the beautifully landscaped historic 
district to unique restaurants, shops, and the City Pier.  
During the holidays, Bridge Street is transformed into a 
festive wonderland of twinkling lights. 
 
Over time, Gulf Drive helped mold the area’s 
development and continues to improve the Island’s 
future.  In addition to being the main link for commerce, 
the corridor serves as a scenic shoreline highway 
providing a window to view the area’s rich natural 
resources.  The corridor provides breathtaking views of 
both the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay.  Along the 
roadside, the traveler may view wildlife in its natural 
habitat.  Great Egrets, Herons, Pelicans, and Gulls are 
abundant over the bay to the East.  
 
 The warm waters that surround the Island are known as 
"The Nursery" due to the large population of bottlenose 
dolphins that live and raise their young.  These waters 
are designated as Class II, Outstanding Florida Waters, 
and Sarasota Bay has been in the National Estuary 
Program since 1988.  The Outstanding Florida Water 
designation provides the highest degree of protection 
under the Florida Department of Environmental 
Protection permitting policy.  This designation is given 
to special waters that have been distinguished for their 
ecological and recreational significance.  As a part of the 
Historic Bridge Street Area  
Sarasota Bay  

Corridor Story 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 6 
National Estuary Program, the development of a 
comprehensive conservation and management plan that 
recommends priority corrective actions to restore and 
maintain water quality in estuaries is required.  This 
includes restoring and maintaining indigenous 
populations of fish and wildlife, as well as recreational 
opportunities.  These designations recognize the unique 
natural resources of the area, the importance of 
management efforts on water quality, wetland 
protection, stormwater and wastewater management and 
the provision of quality recreational opportunities.   
 
Sarasota Bay is the first subtropical bay to be included 
in the National Estuary Program.  It is also one of the 
first 12 designated estuaries serving as national models 
for marine and estuarine management.  The goals of the 
Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program include the 
following: 
 
•  Improve water transparency as much as allowed by 
the Gulf of Mexico and local weather conditions. 
•  Reduce the amount of stormwater runoff into the 
bay, and improve the quality of that stormwater 
which does enter the bay. 
•  Prevent further loss of seagrass beds and shoreline 
habitats, and restore lost habitats. 
•  Coordinate beach/inlet/channel creation and 
maintenance activities to reduce dredging, eliminate 
conflicts, and enhance the bay. 
•  Establish an integrated management system for the 
bay. 
 
Publicly owned land along the corridor, including 
Coquina Beach and Leffis Key provide outstanding 
vistas and opportunities to explore the area’s natural 
landscapes.  Coquina Beach is a 96-acre public 
recreational park overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. 
 
Leffis Key is a pristine, shallow water preserve perfect 
for viewing wildlife in their natural habitat.  Beach 
combing, swimming, sunbathing, wildlife viewing and 
picnicking are just some of the recreational opportunities 
provided by these public lands. Two public boat ramps 
are also available on the bay side to provide water 
recreation opportunities.  Furthermore, the Bridge Street 
Coquina BayWalk at Leffis Key  
Leffis Key Habitat Restoration Area  

Corridor Story 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 7 
Pier, which is the remains of the original bridge that 
served as the only access to the Island for 40 years, is 
one of the most enchanting fishing, dining and strolling 
piers on the Intracoastal Waterway.  
 
Maintaining and enhancing these recreational 
opportunities is a priority for the community and has 
helped instill a sense of stewardship for these resources.  
One effort recently supported by residents was the 
establishment of the “Gulf Coast Heritage Trail” by the 
National Park Service, which promotes the link of 
environmental, educational, cultural and historical points 
of interest.  The Heritage Trail extends through Manatee 
and Sarasota Counties and includes Gulf Drive through 
Bradenton Beach.  
 
The corridor further promotes “Old Florida,” through 
the conspicuous absence of high-rises, fast food chains 
and strip malls.  Bradenton Beach is home to many 
family owned and operated cafes and restaurants.  The 
corridor also houses quaint island shops that offer an 
unusual blend of arts and crafts with a bohemian flare.  
Charming seaside inns support the strong tourism 
industry in the area.     
 
The City of Bradenton Beach has a relaxed, tropical 
charm that is highlighted by the narrow winding streets, 
sugar white sand beaches, soft Gulf Breeze, abundant 
wildlife and the mixture of rustic, historic and 
contemporary buildings.  The City’s distinct style and 
ambiance have been preserved over time through 
regulation and community vigilance.  The scenic 
highway designation will further these efforts by 
promoting the area’s sense of place and preserving the 
community heritage and scenic vistas along the corridor 
for future generations to enjoy. 
Bradenton Beach City Pier  
Aerial view of Bradenton Beach  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 8 
O
PPORTUNITIES AND 
C
ONSTRAINTS
 
 
Potential opportunities and constraints within the 
Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway corridor have been 
identified and are detailed in this section.  Goals, 
objectives, and strategies developed to address these 
issues are detailed in a following section.  A Conceptual 
Master Plan has been developed based on these 
opportunities and constraints and is also included. 
 
Corridor Description 
 
The Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway is a 2.8-mile long 
segment of SR 789 or Gulf Drive, as it is locally known, 
located on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County, on 
Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast.  The proposed scenic 
corridor begins at the Longboat Pass Bridge and extends 
northward through the City of Bradenton Beach to the 
northern city limits, see Figure OC-1. 
 
This Scenic Highway is the only continuous north-south 
road through Bradenton Beach serving both the local 
traffic needs of the community as well as the through 
traffic demand.  State Road 789, which is a federal-aid 
primary road, extends southward from SR 64 linking the 
Manatee County Cities of Holmes Beach and Bradenton 
Beach to each other as well as to the Town of Longboat 
Key and the City of Sarasota.
 
 
Roadway / Right of Way Description 
 
Gulf Drive is a two lane 24 foot- wide undivided 
roadway.  The right of way width varies between 50 feet 
and 70 feet through the developed areas of the City 
generally between the northern city limits to 13
th
 Street 
South.  South of 13
th
 Street South to just north of the 
Longboat Pass Bridge the right of way width widens to 
200 feet.  At the Longboat Pass Bridge, the right of way 
is 300 feet wide.  Copies of the FDOT right of way 
maps are included in Appendix OC-A
 
Landscaping has been provided at several locations 
within the Scenic Highway Corridor.  Most of the 
existing landscaping resulted from the Bradenton Beach 
Scenic Highway Limits  
Southern Entrance to Bradenton Beach  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 9 
City Council’s beautification program and the initiatives 
of local property owners exhibiting their pride in their 
businesses and homes as well as their community. 
 
The intersection of Gulf Drive and Cortez Road is the 
only location controlled by a traffic signal along the 
Scenic Highway Corridor, see Figure OC-1.  Cortez 
Road (SR 684), which begins at Gulf Drive and extends 
eastward, includes one of only two bridges that link 
Anna Maria Island to the Florida mainland. 
 
The Department of Transportation in cooperation with 
the City of Bradenton Beach constructed a traffic circle 
at the intersection of Gulf Drive and Bridge Street.  
Beautiful landscaping and brick crosswalks draw 
attention to the intrinsic qualities of the immediate area 
and enhance the operational qualities of the traffic circle.  
 
Bridge Street is the historically significant roadway that 
first linked Anna Maria Island to the Florida mainland.  
The bridge no longer exists, however the Historic Bridge 
Street area remains a hub of activity with many specialty 
shops, restaurants, and offices.  The area also includes a 
boardwalk, which leads to the 625-foot long City 
Fishing Pier and a four-sided clock tower.  The city pier 
is located at the eastern end extending into the intra-
coastal waterway. 
 
Some sidewalks exist within the Scenic Highway 
Corridor however they are discontinuous and many 
segments are in poor condition.  There is a designated 
bike route through portions of the corridor, however there 
are no designated bicycle lanes on SR 789.  
 
Street lighting is provided throughout much of the 
corridor.  However, since the beach is a Loggerhead 
Turtle nesting area, lighting management is needed to 
prevent interference with nesting activities.  Lighting 
management measures include turning off unnecessary 
lights during nesting season; using smaller or lower 
wattage lights; repositioning, shielding, redirecting, 
lowering or recessing fixtures to keep light away from 
the beach; using timers and motion detector switches; 
and planting native dune vegetation to block lights.  
Loggerhead Hatchlings 
 Bridge Street Traffic Circle  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 10 
Figure oc-1  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 11 
Roadway / Right of Way Description (cont’d) 
Additionally, the overhead utility lines (electricity, 
telephone, cable television, etc.) are located along Gulf 
Drive through the developed area of Bradenton Beach.  
Underground utilities paralleling the roadway are also 
present. 
 
The Scenic Highway is a state roadway and is therefore 
maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation.  
Maintenance services are provided by a private 
company, under contract to and managed by the 
Sarasota Maintenance Office.  Due to the minimal 
amount of materials within the right of way requiring 
upkeep, maintenance of the right of way is provided on 
an as needed basis.   
 
However, once designation as a State Scenic Highway is 
awarded and all proposed improvements have been 
implemented, maintenance of the right of way will be 
required on a more consistent basis.  Through 
partnerships with various groups such as the FDOT, 
Manatee County Government, Keep Manatee Beautiful, 
Inc., volunteer efforts and initiating the Adopt-A-
Highway Program, the City of Bradenton Beach will be 
able to maintain the intrinsic value of the corridor. 
 
In the event additional right of way is required for the 
identified improvements, every effort will be made to 
reach an agreement with property owners in accordance 
with the Uniform Relocation Act of 1970. 
 
Existing Resource Conditions 
 
Natural 
The Scenic Highway Corridor traverses a portion of 
Anna Maria Island that is less than one-quarter mile 
wide.  The beautiful Gulf of Mexico is located on the 
Corridor’s west-side while the serene Sarasota Bay lies 
to the east.  The waters surrounding the Corridor are 
home to a variety of native species, many of which are 
considered either endangered or threatened.  One 
notable endangered species is the sea turtle.  Five sea 
turtle species have been sighted in the region.  The 
loggerhead sea turtle is considered a threatened species.   
Gulf Drive Roadside  
Coquina BayWalk at Leffis Key  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 12 
There are many bird viewing opportunities throughout 
the area, the most notable viewing area in Bradenton 
Beach is located at the Coquina BayWalk at Leffis Key.  
Some of the commonly seen birds include herons, gulls, 
brown and white pelicans, loons, bald eagles, and the 
endangered Florida Scrub Jay. 
 
The warm waters surrounding the Island are coined as 
“the nursery” due to the large number of bottlenose 
dolphin that raise their young here.  The endangered 
West Indian Manatee calls the warm waters “home” 
during the months of April to December.  Furthermore, a 
variety of fish and shellfish, including sea trout, mullet, 
snook, clams and oysters, support a popular and 
profitable recreational and commercial fishing industry.   
 
The most dominant forms of native vegetation in the 
area are mangroves, which provide high quality habitat 
protection, food sources and a water filtration system. 
 
The barrier island is an extremely dynamic natural 
system that is subject to natural changes associated with 
storm surges, winds, and changing currents.  Human 
induced changes from dredge and fill activities, 
stormwater runoff, pollution and uncontrolled dumping 
have negatively impacted the area’s natural resources.  
Numerous efforts through regulation, education and 
volunteer projects have improved water quality. 
  
Economic 
Gulf Drive is aligned with numerous restaurants, retail 
shops, and permanent and seasonal residential homes.  
Characteristic “Old Florida” beachside resorts and small 
seaside inns are found along the Corridor within 
Bradenton Beach.  Residents that live on the Island own 
the vast majority of the restaurants, shops and hotels.  
There is only one “chain” hotel and there are no high-
rise structures within the City.  To ensure that the 
existing residential character and atmosphere of the City 
is maintained, the City of Bradenton Beach has 
instituted meticulous growth management policies 
which consists of strict, land use controls construction 
standards, and public investment policies governing 
development within the area.   
City Hall located on Gulf Drive 
Bottlenose Dolphin  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 13 
Historic Bridge Street and the traffic circle that controls 
its intersection with Gulf Drive are unique features of 
the local community.  Quaint art and craft shops, 
restaurants, and small offices align Bridge Street, which 
has evolved into an extremely pedestrian friendly 
environment.  At the eastern end of the Street resides the 
City Pier and Restaurant, which where constructed on 
the remains of the bridge that served as the only access 
to the Island for 40 years.  The pier is a popular local 
and tourist location for fishing in Sarasota Bay, nature 
viewing, dining and casual walking.  The clock tower 
and boardwalk located at the foot of the Pier are also 
popular attractions and local landmarks. 
 
Social 
Bradenton Beach has approximately 1,653 permanent 
residents and a substantial seasonal and tourist 
population.  The residents are served by a US Post 
Office, Harvey Memorial Church, police and fire 
station, City Hall and Chamber of Commerce.  One of 
the unique civic facilities in the community is the 
Tingley Memorial Library that is owned by the City, but 
operates without the use of tax funding.  The Library is 
named after Beulah Rebecca Hooks Hannah Tingley, 
who bequeathed the funding that built and maintains the 
facility.  Beulah Tingley was honored as a Florida 2000 
People, which is a state designation honoring the 
deceased who significantly contributed to a municipal. 
 
Three city parks and two county parks are accessible to 
residents and visitors.  Popular recreational activities 
include sail & power boating, fishing on the bay & 
offshore, beach combing, picnicking, bird viewing, 
nature walks, swimming, para- sailing, surfing, 
volleyball, windsurfing, and tennis. 
 
Existing Land Use and Zoning 
 
The southernmost segment of the Scenic Highway 
Corridor, which extends approximately one mile 
northward from the Longboat Pass Bridge to 13
th
 Street 
South, consists of public recreation open space.  The 
Coquina Public Beach encompasses the entire length of 
this segment’s western boundary, while the area on the 
Volleyball Courts on Cortez Beach  
Clock Tower at Bridge Street Pier  
Tingley Memorial Library  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 14 
eastside of the roadway includes the Leffis Key 
Conservation Area and two public boat ramps.   
 
North of Coquina Beach the land uses transition to 
primarily tourist and commercial related uses.  Locally 
owned restaurants, motels, beach house rentals, and 
retail outlets are the primary uses located adjacent to the 
roadway.  Beyond these roadside attractions single 
family residences comprise the vast majority of land to 
the east of the roadway, while preservation and public 
recreation areas including the Cortez Public Beach 
encompass the western limits of the Corridor. 
  
Approximately fifty percent of the lands within the proposed scenic highway corridor are designated 
for public/semi-public facilities and conservation.  These public lands are owned and maintained by 
the City of Bradenton Beach, Manatee County and the State of Florida.  There are no individual 
private entities that own a substantial percentage of land within the corridor. 
 
The existing land uses are consistent with the City’s zoning designations as shown in Figure OC-2.  
Zoning within the corridor supports predominantly residential and recreational uses with business 
and commercial areas clustered along Gulf Drive and Bridge Street.   
North Boat Ramp  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 15 
City Zoning Regulation – OC-2 

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 16 
Future Land Use 
 
Substantially built out and needing to ensure the protection and preservation of its environmental 
qualities, the City of Bradenton Beach adopted its Comprehensive Plan on May 25, 1989, permitting 
only redevelopment activities.  This emphasis on redevelopment is expressed in Table OC-1 and 
graphically on the City’s adopted Future Land Use Map (FLUM), Figure OC-3.  This plan promotes 
orderly growth, insures the availability of infrastructure, and provides for the health, safety, and 
welfare of residents.  For future land use classification, please refer to Table OC-1. 
 
 
Table OC-1 
LAND USE CATEGORY BY ACRE 
 1995 
2000 
LAND USE CATEGORY 
Existing 
Future 
Residential  
Low-Medium density 
75.16 75.16 
Residential  
Medium-High density 
19.85 22.08 
Residential 
Medium-High Seasonal Tourist 
35.30 35.30 
Commercial 
5.15 5.15 
Residential/Office 
Retail 
20.37 20.37 
Recreation/Open Space 
72.99 72.99 
Preservation 
63.76 63.76 
Conservation 
15.97 15.97 
Public/Semi-Public 
2.32 2.32 
Vacant 
2.93 .7 
TOTAL ACRES 
313.80 
313.80 
 

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 17 
FLUM – OC-3

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 18 
Sign Inventory – City, County, State 
 
A myriad of signage is provided along Gulf Drive as 
evidenced by the sign inventory included in Appendix 
OC-B.  Approximately 180 state and local signs have 
been installed along the 2.8-mile Scenic Highway route.  
The type and placement of signs within the FDOT right 
of way is regulated by the Florida Department of 
Transportation, and Chapter 479, Florida Statues.   
 
Pursuant to Title 23, United States code, Section 131(s), 
states having a scenic byways program must withhold 
the issuance of permits for new outdoor advertising 
signs on the Interstate, National Highway System and 
Federal-Aid Primary (at June 1, 1991) highways that are 
designated as scenic highways/byways.  This includes 
the prohibition of new signs in zoned or unzoned 
commercial and industrial areas adjacent to designated 
scenic highways/byways.  The FDOT will not issue new 
outdoor advertising permits once the Scenic Highway 
Designation is obtained.  A copy of the FDOT Outdoor 
Advertising Control – Scenic Highways/Byways is 
included in Appendix OC-C. 
 
Additionally, Article VIII, SIGNAGE of the City of 
Bradenton Beach Land Development Code also 
establishes restrictions for the design and placement of 
signs within the City. 
 
Safety Issues 
Bradenton Beach property owners, residents, and local 
officials expressed concerns over vehicular and 
pedestrian utilization of Gulf Drive to the Florida 
Department of Transportation.  Based on these requests, 
the FDOT suggested the formation of a local 
government/FDOT task force to establish a plan to 
improve parking conditions, drainage issues, and 
pedestrian and cyclist safety.  In 1993, the Board of 
County Commissioners appointed the SR 789 Task 
Force  to review and submit their recommendations.  A 
copy of the SR 789 Task Force Report is included in 
Appendix OC-D. 
 
Pedestrian Activity Area along Gulf Drive 
Typical signage along Gulf Drive  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 19 
1995
1996
1997
1998
Year
Accident History
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
Year
Historical Traffic Volumes
There is significant pedestrian and bicycle activity along 
the corridor and the lack of pedestrian walkways and 
bicycle paths.  The SR 789 Task Force suggested 
improvements for pedestrian/bicycle safety to include: 
 
•  The extension of an eight-foot bike path from Cortez 
Beach looping under the bridge then north to Leffis 
Key entrance 
•  Four-foot bike paths 
•  Street lighting (to fill existing voids) 
•  Five-foot wide sidewalks. 
 
During peak tourist seasons, there is a substantial flow 
of pedestrian activity crossing the road, as residents and 
visitors walk and ride to the beach, restaurants, motels, 
and shops. 
 
The Department of Transportation has no record of a 
fatal traffic incident reported along the Scenic Highway 
during the four-year period 1995-1998.  A copy of the 
FDOT Accident Report is included in Appendix OC-E. 
 
Traffic Volumes and User Types 
 
Gulf Drive is the only continuous north-south route 
provided on Anna Maria Island.  It functions both as an 
arterial roadway serving the longer through trips and as a 
local collector that provides access to the residents and 
businesses located along its route.  
 
The Florida Department of Transportation annually 
conducts mainline traffic counts on Gulf Drive at a 
location just south of Cortez Road.  A review of the 
annual average daily traffic volumes collected at this 
location during the five-year period 1994-1999 shows 
that the traffic volumes have ranged from a low of 
11,500 vehicles to a high of 14,300 vehicles. 
 
Gulf Drive serves as both a main arterial roadway for 
through traffic, and a local collector to area residents 
and visitors.  A variety of transportation modes can be 
found traversing Gulf Drive including but not limited to 
private and commercial vehicles, public transportation 
vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. 

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 20 
As a vital commercial roadway, Gulf Drive allows the 
transport of services and products to private properties, 
and businesses within the city limits of Bradenton 
Beach, as well as private properties and businesses 
located within Longboat Key, Holmes Beach and Anna 
Maria.  
 
As a local collector, Gulf Drive, runs north of the 
downtown business district, which is formed by Gulf 
Drive, Bridge Street, 1
st
 Street North, and 3
rd
 Street 
South and provides access to residential roadways.  
Pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the corridor consists of 
area residents, day trippers, weekend vacationers and 
seasonal tourists traveling to and from residences, 
hotels, recreational/public facilities, restaurants and 
commercial/retail businesses.  Since the downtown 
business district does not have sufficient parking, 
patrons park along Gulf Drive. 
 
The adopted MPO travel-forecasting model projects the 
Year 2020 average annual daily traffic volume on Gulf 
Drive will increase slightly to 15,300 daily vehicles. 
 
Manatee County Area Transit or MCAT operates one 
bus route, Route 5, along Gulf Drive.  This route extends 
from Coquina Beach on the south end to Pine Avenue in 
Anna Maria on the north end.  The line currently 
operates on one-hour headways with scheduled stops at 
Coquina Beach and Bridge Street, and multiple 
unscheduled stops in-between. 
 
As part of a three-year program, MCAT will install 4-6 
additional bus shelters along Gulf Drive within the city 
limits of Bradenton Beach.  However, exact locations of 
the new bus shelters have not yet been determined.  
 
Additionally, Manatee County has identified a need to 
alleviate traffic congestion along the corridor, and will 
introduce a rubber-tire trolley service on Anna Maria 
Island to serve the cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, 
and Bradenton Beach.  A copy of the Letter of Intent is 
included in Appendix OC-F.  The proposed Trolley 
will service a major portion of SR 789, and operate with 
20-minute headways; travelers will have the option to 
The Infamous Downtown Business District  
MCAT Bus on Gulf Drive
 

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 21 
travel both north/south on the Island and to/from the 
mainland.  
 
Specific routings and hours of service will not be 
determined until the implementation phase of the 
project, but will include Sundays and selected holidays 
for weekend Beachgoers.  During peak hours, three 
trolleys would operate exclusively on Anna Maria, from 
the Anna Maria city pier south to Coquina Beach at 
LongBoat Pass.  Additionally, MCAT will expand 
operating hours of its paratransit service vehicles, the 
Handy Bus, for ADA-certified clients to approximately 
33 hours per week. 
 
The Trolley Service will operate in conjunction with the 
current MCAT Bus System and is projected to improve 
current transit connection and service from Anna Maria 
Island to/from the mainland.  MCAT is projecting the 
Trolley Service will begin operation on July 1, 2001.
 
 
Levels of Service 
 
The Bradenton Beach Comprehensive Plan established 
level of service “D” as the minimum acceptable standard 
for Gulf Drive.  As described in the Bradenton Beach 
Comprehensive Plan Traffic Circulation Element, level 
of service D “borders on a range on which small 
increases in traffic flow may cause substantial increases 
in approach delay and, hence, decrease in speed.” 
 
Recent operational studies of Gulf Drive indicate that it 
is currently operating at level of service D on a regular 
basis.   
 
Peak Hour Traffic on Gulf Drive  
Conceptual Trolley   

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 22 
Transportation Plans 
 
In 1993 a Task Force was assembled to establish a plan 
for SR 789 / CR 789 to improve the safety of motor 
vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.  This multi-
disciplined task force was made up of local government 
officials and FDOT staff focused on several major areas 
of concern including: 
1. Drainage 
problems, 
2. Pedestrian 
safety, 
3. 
Parking along SR 789, and 
4. Highway 
lighting. 
 
The Task Force completed their efforts in 1994 and 
submitted The SR 789 Corridor Study, which identified 
a variety of improvement projects for Gulf Drive 
including: 
 
• Drainage 
improvements 
at 
Cortez Beach and at “S” 
curve north of Cortez Road 
 
• 
Initiation of a formalized maintenance program  
• 
Construction of a roundabout/raised median at 
Coquina Beach   
• 
Construction of a four-foot wide bike path 
 
• Installation 
of 
curb and gutters   
•  Construction of five-foot wide sidewalks 
 
• 
Extension of a bike path from Cortez Beach south, 
looping under the Longboat Pass Bridge to the 
Leffis Key entrance. 
 
 
To date, the FDOT has improved the drainage at the 
Gulf Drive/Cortez Road intersection, at the “S” curve, 
and along a portion of Cortez Beach.  In lieu of 
installing a traffic circle at Coquina Beach, the FDOT 
widened the roadway to include a center left-turn lane at 
the request of Manatee County.  Although the remaining 
identified improvements from the SR 789 Task Force, 
have yet to be implemented, there continues to be 
tremendous local support.    
 
• Manatee County is currently implementing 
circulation and parking improvements at Coquina 
Beach. 
•  A project to improve pedestrian/bicycle safety is 
Drainage Structure at Cortez Beach 
Parking on Gulf Drive  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 23 
included in the FDOT five-year work program, in 
FY2003.  
•  Also included in the FDOT five-year work program, 
FY 2000/2001-FY 2004/2005 are projects to further 
ensure pedestrian safety along the corridor.  These 
pedestrian safety projects include: 
•  Install a new signalized pedestrian crosswalk at 
9
th
 Street North 
•  Install a pedestrian crosswalk at Cortez Road (this 
intersection is currently signalized.) 
•  The Manatee County Transportation Department
Sarasota-Manatee MPO, and FDOT are in full 
support of the Scenic Highway Designation for Gulf 
Drive. 
 
Roadway Improvements 
 
The adopted Sarasota-Manatee MPO Transportation 
Improvement Plan and the FDOT Five-Year Work 
Program have committed funding in Fiscal Year 2000 to 
implement additional drainage improvements along Gulf 
Drive at Cortez Road and in the vicinity of City Hall.  
Additionally, the adopted FDOT Five-Year Work 
Program, FY 2000/2001 – FY 2004/2005 includes 
funding to install pedestrian related facilities at two Gulf 
Drive locations.  Pedestrian crossing features and a 
crosswalk will be installed at the already signalized 
Cortez Road intersection, and a new signalized 
pedestrian crossing will be installed/constructed at 9
th
 
Street North. 
 
The FDOT Five-Year Work Program includes funding 
for bike lane construction.  The $300,000 bike lane 
project will begin at the northern city limit of Bradenton 
Beach extending through to the southern city limit of 
Bradenton Beach.  The bike lane project is scheduled for 
construction FY2003.   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pedestrians on Gulf Drive  
Bicyclist on Gulf Drive  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 24 
Natural Resource Protection Programs 
 
The designation of one-third of the corridor as public 
recreation and pristine conservation areas, including 
Coquina Beach, Leffis Key Sanctuary, and Cortez Beach 
is an example of the City’s commitment to natural 
resource protection.  The City’s comprehensive plan 
also calls for 153 acres of the City’s total 313 acres to be 
preserved as recreation/open space, preservation or 
conservation areas.   
 
Furthermore, the City is a partner in the Sarasota Bay 
project, which includes designation of the Bay in the 
National Estuary Program.  Sarasota Bay is one of only 
twenty-eight areas nationally with this distinction.  A 
five-year effort is being undertaken to restore the bay to 
its original condition.  Restoration activities are focused 
on improving water quality, wetland protection, 
stormwater, and wastewater management and access to 
quality recreational resources. 
 
Anna Maria Island is surrounded by the waters of the 
Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria Sound, Palma Sola Bay 
and Sarasota Bay, all of which are designated as Class 
II, Outstanding Florida Waters, as defined by Section 
401 of the Clean Water Act.  The state water quality 
certification program includes water quality standards, 
developed by the Florida Department of Environmental 
Protection, that regulate the discharge of pollutants.  The 
Class II designation is for waters that classify for 
shellfish propagation or harvesting.  The City must 
avoid any development activities that would degrade the 
existing water quality and must initiate management and 
monitoring activities that preserve this designation. 
 
In 1992, the City participated with the State and U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers in a major beach restoration 
project.  In addition to the initial activities, the project 
also provides for periodic beach renourishment of the 
restored beach and adjacent shoreline.  The project aids 
in protection of natural and built resources, including the 
Gulf Drive corridor.  The additional sand area will 
provide a protective buffer to the roadway during natural 
storm events. 
Nature Trail at Leffis Key  
Coastal Wetlands   

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 25 
Coastal shores of barrier islands, such as the Anna Maria 
Island, are highly susceptible to being either over 
washed or rearranged due to fluctuating sea levels, 
coastal waves and winds.  However, protective 
coverings such as grasses and other plants that grow on 
dunes, as well as, beach erosion control measures can 
prevent substantial alterations to the Island.  The City of 
Bradenton Beach has initiated an agreement with the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to acquire sole 
responsibility for monitoring and replenishing its coastal 
shores.  A beach erosion control initiative is scheduled 
to begin during the first quarter of 2001.  The beach 
erosion control measures of the Gulf Shore will begin at 
5
th
 Street South and extend to 13
th
 street South. 
 
Activities will include reconstructing a 75 feet wide 
level berm at an elevation of 6 feet above M.L.W.  
Furthermore, due to the expected southward erosion 
shifts, there will be no renourishment activities 
scheduled at this time for the Coquina Beach area. 
 
Finally, Article VI, Resource Protection Standards, of 
the Bradenton Beach Land Development Code 
specifically addresses the importance of protecting the 
natural resources found within the Corridor.   
Other Programs 
The original intent of SR 789 was to be an integral part 
of the roadway system, and serve as a scenic highway for 
residents and visitors to enjoy.  The desire of the 
community to maintain this character can be seen in the 
Bradenton Beach Comprehensive Plan, strong resident 
support, and constant communication with various 
agencies responsible for projects throughout the 
community.   
 
The National Park Service has designated Gulf Drive as 


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