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LIGHTS OUT: If you live in Englewood, get used to driving in the dark on SR 776

Officials with the Florida Department of Transportation told Englewood's Community Correspondent Victoria Scott not to expect the lights to be fixed until December 2025.
FDOT project in Englewood
Posted at 11:21 PM, Apr 05, 2024

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. — Streetlights lining SR 776 in Charlotte County are still leaving drivers in the dark, even though Hurricane Ian hit the area some 19 months ago.

"Since these have been out, we've had accidents, plenty of accidents," resident Brian Faro told Englewood's Community Correspondent Victoria Scott. "There's been some at night that I think could've been avoided."

"I understand there are more dire needs maybe around, but when you're a year and a half plus out from an incident, it starts to get a little frustrating," he said. "You don't even know if [FDOT] is paying attention to it or not."

"We kind of rallied up the community to blast the FDOT."

Brian Faro, Englewood

The Florida Department of Transportation is responsible for fixing them.

"We kind of rallied up the community to blast the FDOT," Faro said.

FDOT says some of the delay has been out of their hands.

"We want our viewers to know that with the supply chain and material shortage issues that we're seeing in the industry, the materials needed for this particular restoration are taking longer than normal," said Janella Newsome, Director of Public Information for FDOT, District 1.

FDOT officials told Fox 4 the highway lighting plans are complete, the construction contract has been awarded, and the parts should get here by September or October.

Faro is worried the wait just means more people get hurt.

"Safety is the biggest thing," he said. "We honestly want to make sure our residents can travel safely."

FDOT said the project will likely take about a year to complete. A ballpark estimate for when it could be done is December of next year.