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OUTREACH PAYS OFF New steel grating already was visible in the deck of the north Siesta bridge as it opened for a boat in June. File photo SIESTA LEADERS LAUD FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR SMOOTHNESS OF BRIDGE PROJECT By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor The presidents of two Siesta Key organiza- tions credit community outreach efforts and good communication on the part of the Flor- ida Department of Transportation for the smooth, months-long process of renovating the north Siesta bridge, they told The Saraso- ta News Leader this week. Although completion of the project may not come before early November, the nightly lane closures on the bridge ended about two weeks ago, FDOT consultant Jennifer Stafford said on Oct. 17. The only possibility of any lane closure before the project is completed would be on a rolling basis, Stafford said — a 5-minute wait at the most, if workers needed to transport materi- als across the bridge. "They're still doing some cleanup work and painting," she added. Russell Matthes, president of the Siesta Key Village Association, told the News Leader, "The contractor has done an outstanding job [with] very little disruption to traffic." He added that that was achieved as a result of FDOT representatives listening to members of the community before the work began on June 5.

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