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Burnt Store-area homeowners raise concerns about proposed US-41 connector road

Charlotte County has presented four proposed route options for public comment
Posted at 6:46 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 18:47:02-05

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — A new road proposed by Charlotte County would connect Burnt Store Road to US-41, but homeowners in the area are raising their concerns about the impacts a new road could have for them.

Robert Fakhri, the project manager, said results of a traffic study done in the area called for a new road to accommodate future traffic from upcoming developments.

"It started with future projections of traffic on Burnt Store Rd, from future developments studied and approved by the board," said Fakhri.

Preliminary route options for the east-west connector road were presented and discussed at a public comment meeting on Wednesday evening. People at the meeting said traffic safety, the impact on their way of life and potential harm to the surrounding wetland areas are among their concerns.

"This is going to bring so many cars past homes with small children, bus stops," said Heather Radle.

"There is already a road there, you don't have to spend any money, waste money building a new road," said Scott Vollage. "How many gopher tortoises are they going to bury under doing this?"

Homeowners like Rhett Morris said he bought land in a rural area for one reason: because it is in a rural area. He said adding a road and increasing traffic near his home would make him think about finding somewhere else to live.

"Its been a quiet town, we have been dealing with the aggravation of increased growth and increased traffic and it has kind of come along at a moderate pace," said Morris. "But this kind of shock is just something that is going to make me seriously consider moving."

The public comment period ends on Feb. 5, then preliminary findings and an engineering study will be presented to the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners. As it stands, there is no funding available for the next phases of the project.

For an in-depth look at the route options, click here.