New Bridge Over the Manatee

PARRISH (970 WFLA) -- It was first proposed more than a century ago. Finally, ribbon cutting takes place Wednesday morning (18th) for the Fort Hamer Bridge over the Manatee River. 

The bridge will connect Fort Hamer Road to Upper Manatee River Road. But more importantly, it'll tie together the fast-growing areas of Lakewood Ranch and Parrish. 

Nicholas Azzara with Manatee County government says the most important motivation to build the bridge was public safety. It's expected to shorten ambulance response team and make it easier for people to evacuate during a hurricane warning. 

It's also expected to encourage people on the north bank of the Manatee to visit Lakewood Ranch, since they won't have to use congested U.S. 41 or Interstate 75 to get there.

The bridge opens with a ceremony that starts at 8:30 a.m. If you wish to be there, you should approach from Fort Hamer Park (north side of the river) around 8 a.m. 

Photo Credit Manatee County Government

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