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Parrish Seen as U.S. 301 Gateway to Manatee County


BRADENTON -- Parrish, like Cortez, has always enjoyed its pseudo- sovereignty (hands-off) position in Manatee County. But Parrish is trading its fringe independence for a front-row seat as the welcoming committee for those traveling U.S. 301 south into Manatee County. At Tuesday's BOCC meeting, commissioners voted to supply future landscape maintenance cost for five median islands that will be built for a half-mile stretch of 301 going into the historical town south from Moccasin Wallow Rd.

Historical Parrish is represented by Commissioner Larry Bustle in District-1. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is funding the continuance of its U.S. 301 four-lane project north through Parrish to Moccasin Wallow Rd. Bustle has been asking to spiff up the ride by requesting landscaped median islands be placed in the final stretch of the project.

FDOT doesn't have a problem with the request, except that it won't provide the funds to maintain the medians. This puts the commissioners in a rather compromising position. The BOCC repeatedly turns down projects that are very important to county residents for the reasons of, "lack of funding." 

The estimated annual cost for maintenance of these 5-28 ft. long medians is reported to be from $5-10,000. 

When the BOCC last discussed the medians and the cost, there was no second to Bustle's motion to accept the maintenance responsibility. On Tuesday, the board changed its collective mind with a unanimous vote to fund the project.

When FDOT funds and builds a project, it requires maintenance to be carried out for a period of five years. 

Here are some of the artistic renditions of what is being offered to represent the U.S. 301 Gateway.



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