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Bradenton Beach moving ahead on dredging, seagrass mitigation project

Bradenton Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency reallocated funds Feb. 23 to cover the cost of an upcoming dredging and seagrass mitigation project.

The dredging would reestablish a navigable channel along the Sarasota Bay coastline of Bradenton Beach from the Manatee County boat ramp at Coquina Beach to the Historic Bridge Street Pier. Seagrass mitigation, the restoration of aquatic grass beds damaged by development projects, is typically a requirement for dredging.

Agency members reviewed bids from three contractors and received a staff recommendation for a combined $925,485 proposal for dredging and seagrass mitigation from Duncan Seawall, Dock and Boat Lift.

The approximately $600,000 cost of seagrass mitigation accounts for the bulk of the price tag.

Though it was the least costly bid, it presented the CRA with about a $200,485 budget shortfall.

Instead of canceling the project or putting it out to bid a second time — which could have pushed the venture out of the CRA’s current fiscal year and resulted in a loss of about $500,000 in state funding and a $228,000 grant from the West Coast Inland Navigation District appropriated specifically for the project — the agency opted to reshuffle its budget.