Wares Creek Dredging Project

August 13, 2012

Most of the muck is gone from Wares Creek in Bradenton and officials from the city and federal government are pleased with how the first major phase of the creek clean-up project progressed.

But looking out over the creek that runs through the heart of downtown Bradenton, resident Cody Giltner said he does not see much that was changed by the main dredging portion of the nearly $52 million project that is among the largest creek restoration efforts in the region’s history.

“For $51 million, you’d think they would have done the other side of the Manatee Avenue bridge,” said Giltner, who has lived on Virginia Drive West near the creek for two years.

Still, Giltner and others say the creek is clearly deeper and flowing more, with less muck visible at low tide. “Removing the mud makes it less of an eyesore,” he said.

Plus, he admits, the dredging caused less trouble than he first feared. “I expected a lot more noise and a lot more smell,” Giltner said.

But City Councilman Patrick Roff said he is happy with the progress that has been made, and he notes that more work to improve the creek, including removal of overhanging trees and other impediments, will be done soon.

The dredging is finished, and those giant bags on the south side of Manatee Avenue West that are filled with sediment eventually will be gone. Manatee County owns the land, there, said Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston.

The $51.7 million project was long a dream of city officials because of flooding in the area during heavy rains and due to the mucky, clogged look of the creek.

The dredging company rose to the occasion, Roff said.

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