UPDATE- Sept 2015
Charlotte County, FL road widening projects have seen delays but several are now on track. Edgewater Drive is currently closed between Harbor Blvd and Midway Blvd. Construction continues on the replacement of bridges, widening of the roadway and installation of traffic circles. This section should be complete in 2016.
Construction on the final section to Flamingo Blvd and on to 776 is not yet scheduled.
The final widening of Midway Blvd from Harbor Blvd to Kings Hwy is now underway with a completion date of 2017.
By JOHN HAUGHEY STAFF WRITER, Charlotte Sun-Herald Newspaper. Reprinted with permission.
Charlotte County should complete the anticipated $9 million acquisition of 528 vacant lots between Edgewater Drive and State Road 776 by year’s end, marking a critical milestone in the decade-old effort to create a four-lane north-south road west of U.S. 41.
The county has planned to widen Edgewater to four lanes to Flamingo Boulevard — which will also be widened to four lanes to its intersection with S.R. 776 — since the early 1990s.
“We’re talking about a network that will service Murdock Village and relieve U.S. 41 congestion,” said Public Works Director Tom O’Kane.
Charlotte County commissioners Tuesday were updated on the project’s status, which requires the county to purchase more than 150 acres of parkland to supplant displaced scrub jay habitat.
The scrub jay areas will be incorporated into Tippecanoe Scrub Environmental Park II, which will “be open for extremely passive recreation,” said Cathy Olson, a county environmental specialist.
Olson said the county has been “assembling properties” by tax deed sales, willing sellers, land swaps and through grant-financed acquisitions.
However, she added, some lots have “title issues” and others are “unwilling sellers.” Eminent domain procedures will be used to secure those lots if necessary, she said.
Olson said there are three existing homes in the vicinity of the prospective park, before noting, “We will not be purchasing the homes, just vacant lands.”
County Real Estate Services Director Paul Payette said the total acquisition bill is expected to come to $9 million and should be “completed by the end of the calendar year.”
Brian Barnes of Public Works said the Edgewater extension should be completed within two years.
In addition to making Flamingo four lanes from 776 south to Edgewater, Barnes said Collingswood Boulevard south from 776 to Edgewater will also be widened to four lanes.
Commissioner Adam Cummings said the county’s purchasing strategy has evolved since it first launched the project.
“In hindsight, we’ve learned something from this project in terms of land acquisition,” he said. “At least as far as what the market has done for us, we must proceed as expeditiously as possible.”