Drainage project still impacting beach parking

Coquina Beach drainage project still impacting parking
The Coquina Beach parking lot south of the bus loop will soon be reopened. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – Portions of the Coquina Beach parking lot remain closed to beachgoers as work on the second phase of Manatee County’s extensive drainage improvement project continues.

The project’s primary goal is to improve drainage at the county-owned beach park in Bradenton Beach. The scope of work includes the installation of new underground stormwater collection and drainage components that are then covered with pervious pavement that allows water to drain downward and into the drainage systems below. The paved and striped parking spaces also create better-delineated parking spaces than the previously unpaved, un-striped parking areas.

The first phase of the project which took place at the south end of the beach park was completed in 2020. Work on the second phase began in February 2021 and the ongoing work continues to temporarily reduce the number of available parking spaces.

On Dec. 27, Manatee County Information Outreach Manager Bill Logan provided The Sun with a project update that included a project map he received from the county public works department.

Coquina Beach drainage project, parking impacts continue
This project map highlights the various sub-phases of the drainage and parking improvements taking place at Coquina Beach. – Manatee County | Submitted

According to the map, construction in the parking area just south of the main entrance and bus loop – highlighted in blue on map and referred to as sub-phase 4 – is nearly complete and those 221 parking spaces should be available in early January.

A visit to the Coquina Beach parking lot on Wednesday confirmed the pervious concrete paving has been installed atop the previously installed stormwater and drainage components, but that parking area was not yet open to the public.

Coquina Beach drainage project, parking impacts continue
As of Tuesday, Dec. 27, the Coquina Beach parking area south of the bus loop was paved and awaiting car stops and striping. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

“Woodruff & Sons is off until Tuesday of next week. They still need to pin the car stops and stripe the area before it can be opened,” Logan told The Sun. “They will then move north of the bus loop to work on sub-phase 3. This is the last of the second project phase.”

According to the project map, the sub-phase 3 area (highlighted in yellow) contains approximately 170 parking spaces that will be closed to the public in early 2023. Logan noted some additional tree removals will be needed as part of the work taking place in that area.

The map also shows an overflow parking area (highlighted in red) south of the soon-to-be-completed sub-phase 4 area that will contain an additional 140 parking spaces and is expected to open in late 2022/early 2023. As of Wednesday, that area remained closed, had not yet been paved and appeared to need quite a bit of work yet.

Coquina Beach drainage project, parking impacts continue
The overflow parking area remains a work in progress. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

Logan noted the county’s contract with Woodruff & Sons is scheduled to end in March, but the overflow parking area and the parking area at the north end of the beach park were added to the project. He said that it’s not yet known if more time will be needed to complete the additional work.