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Cape Coral looking to improve evacuation routes with new hurricane study

Hurricane Evacuation Plan
Posted at 5:57 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 04:26:03-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla.  — When evacuating from a hurricane, the best route is usually the quickest path to safety.

On Wednesday, Cape City Council approved moving forward with a Hurricane Evacuation study.

The Interlocal Agreement is between the City of Cape Coral, and the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter said the city has learned a lot over the years, dealing with Hurricanes like Irma in 2017 when Cape Coral was forced to evacuate.

“What happens is everybody tries to leave at once,” said Gunter.

Reason on Wednesday Gunter said the new hurricane evacuation study looks at improving access routes throughout the city.

“See exactly what we need so we can plan for the future since we are one of the fastest growing cities in Florida,” said Gunter.

Gunter said one area of concern is on the east side of Cape Coral off Del Prado Boulevard and the other, on the west side off Burnt Store Road where signs pointing to evacuation routes, are found on one-lane roads.

Which families say causes daily congestion in an area that is booming with development.

“The traffic on the burnt store is so busy,” said Terri Weiler.

The MPO will look at improving those roads, creating ideal evacuation routes on the east and west side of Cape Coral.

Gunter said the goal is to, “Get to Interstate 75 quickly as possible."

Relief for families who live off Burnt Store Road, and a project that will continue to move forward according to Gunter.

“This time next year we will have some future discussions partnering with the MPO to see exactly what we can do to enhance our evacuation routes," said Gunter.

The anticipated cost of the Study is $300,000 with the City of Cape Coral not paying more than $150,000.