CAPE CORAL, Fla. — In an emergency, Burnt Store Road is one of the few evacuation routes for people living in northwest Cape Coral, and now city leaders say they want to turn it into a gateway to the city.
On Thursday, plans for future development were met with a worry that development could slow down people trying to escape during an emergency.
A concern that comes as plans for a new 48-unit resort could be built right next to the Burnt Store Boat Ramp.
“For people in Charlotte and Lee county, this is a major evacuation route,” said John Flem.
The route Flem is talking about, Burnt Store Road, is also a major focus of development for the city of Cape Coral and district representative Keith Long.
“We have already identified as many others have that this is sort of the next opportunity for developmental growth in cape coral,” said Long.
An opportunity that was taken too quickly for people like Flem who said portions of Burnt Store Road, bottleneck and create heavy traffic delays.
“You have three lanes, and then down to one lane, and then you open up to two lanes,” said Flem.
On Thursday, we asked Long the question, if Burnt Store Road is already too crowded for hurricane evacuation, is the city okay with development and moving forward with development?
"Yes, so the development that a lot of people are discussing now I think it’s sort of misunderstood what we are doing here is we're planning, this is a planning stage,” said Long.
Long, when asked if it's fair to say that Burnt Store Road would be set up before all of these other commercial buildings come into play, said that would make the most sense.
“I can't say with 100% certainty but it makes sense even from a developmental standpoint because developers aren't going to want to come unless they got the ability for that roadway to create the traffic that they want,” said Long.
Long went on to say Burnt Store Road is being expanded in sections.
“The timing is going to match up perfectly with the expansion with that northern portion when we get the utilities up there in a couple of years,” said Long.