Anna Maria Island Bridge and Cortez Bridge Openings Change

Update Oct, 2017: USCG approved changes to opening times, effective Oct. 5 year-round, to be at quarter past, 0015, and quarter to the hour, 0045, from 0600 to 1900H, on the Manatee Ave (Anna Maria Island) Bridge and the Cortez Bridge. The change also applies to Stickney Point and Siesta Drive bridges in Sarasota. Longboat Pass bridge continues as open on-demand.

Update Feb, 2017: U.S. Coast Guard proposes changing operating schedule of bridges across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from three times per hour to twice. Anna Maria Bridge and Cortez Bridge will open on the quarter hour and three-quarter hour on demand, during daylight hours. The change is to be year-round. The proposal is open for comment until April 14.

On Jan 15, 2014, the US Coast Guard began its winter schedule for the timed raising of 2 bridges that connect Anna Maria Island to the mainland.

Anna Maria Bridge opening
Passing under the Anna Maria Island Bridge

The summer schedule allowed for on-demand raising at 20 minute intervals: on the hour, 20 past, and 20 ’til, if required by a boat during daylight hours.

The winter schedule now in force from Jan 15 to May 15 is for 30 minute intervals: on the hour, and the half hour, on demand, during daylight.

Real Estate

Seafood Shack Restaurant Closes

UPDATE: The Seafood Shack Restaurant is open. Hours are 11:30 a.m to 9:00 p.m. Telephone: 941-794-1235Seafood Shack Cortez

The Seafood Shack Restaurant in Cortez has closed re-opened.

The waterfront restaurant has been in business for 38 years serving grouper sandwiches, clam chowder and burgers but succumbed to the combination of high taxes, high insurance, economic downturn, and an upcoming bridge repair.

The humpback bridge on 127th Street is closing for repairs and Seafood Shack owner, Ham Jones, said he faced bankruptcy trying to stay open with low patronage, or close and lay off staff. He kept open the possibility of reopening in November if the bridge repairs are completed by then, and if the Anna Maria Island bridge repair closures reroutes traffic to Cortez bridge as scheduled for October – November.


Sailing Tampa Bay

A beautiful day on Tampa Bay last weekend brought out sailors and boaties taking advantage of the breeze and perfect temperature to enjoy a day on the water.

Sailing Tampa Bay

Sailing out of northern Anna Maria Island presents no barriers or bridges into Tampa Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway, and to the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa Bay is one of few Florida deep water bodies of water, along with Charlotte Harbor, where keeled sailboats can enjoy unencumbered cruising without too much fear of running aground on shoals and dredged spoil banks.

Sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a treat and navigation is little constrained up to St Petersburg.


Anna Maria Island Bridge Renovation Rescheduled

Florida Department of Transportation announced that the start of the Anna Maria Bridge renovations has been delayed until Feb 4. A new contract with Quinn Construction Co of Palmetto calls for the bridge on Manatee Avenue, or State Road 64, connecting Anna Maria Island to the mainland and Bradenton, to be closed completely to vehicles for 45 days.

Originally announced last year to begin April 1, the closure was to be 75 days, but


Anna Maria Island Bridge Rehab Meeting

Public Meeting: Thursday, January 17, 2008, 5 – 7pm

Saint Bernard Catholic Church, 2484 S Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach

Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting before construction begins on the Anna Maria Island Bridge Rehab project.