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Ground broken for final phase of road widening project

By Staff | Oct 27, 2009

The word “teamwork” was mentioned during various speeches at the groundbreaking held Monday to kick off the fifth and final stage of the Del Prado Boulevard Widening Roadway Improvement Project.
The ceremony was held on the northeast corner of Del Prado Boulevard and Pine Island Road.
The final stage of the project, done by Balfour Beatty Construction, will widen Del Prado from Kismet Parkway to just south of Pine Island.
Once the project is finished in 2011, the roadway will be widened to six lanes, resurfaced and realigned at the S.R. 78/Pine Island intersection. The work is being done to provide greater access from the north to the south of Cape Coral.
“In addition, improvements along this 2.3-mile stretch of Del Prado Boulevard will include the widening of two bridges; the building of three off-site bridges; street lighting; new traffic signals; curb; storm drainage; landscaping; and 10-foot-wide, multi-use paths,” according to a prepared statement.
Cape Coral City Manager Terry Stewart kicked off the groundbreaking event by introducing everyone in the audience who helped make the project possible.
“Getting to this day has taken a lot of work by a lot of different people,” he said.
Stewart explained that the project is vitally important to provide transportation access to the community, due to the roadway’s assistance in the city’s growth.
Gary Vargas of Balfour Beatty Construction began his speech by thanking God for giving the company the opportunity to do the project on a road that 24,000 people use every day.
“It takes a teamwork effort to make all this happen,” he said, adding that the city made the project possible by using its manager-at-risk vision.
“I am very proud of our company and look forward to finishing our project,” Vargas said.
Although there were plenty of challenges, there were zero claims during the project, he added.
Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Secretary Stan Cann also spoke during the groundbreaking.
He said the project illustrated another example of how things can happen when people come together. Cann added that in these rough economic times, partnerships make a huge difference.
Mayor Jim Burch said the project’s message is “work together, communicate and make the city a better place.”
“It takes tremendous teamwork for all of this to happen,” he said.
Burch read a proclamation for state Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral, stating that Oct. 26 is Gary Aubuchon Day for all of his support throughout the project.
Aubuchon closed the ceremony by stating that he truly believes in teamwork and he enjoys representing an area that uses teamwork. He said all of the individuals who worked together on the project will keep the Cape economy growing.
The first phase was the off-site bridge on Northeast 14th Place and Northeast 17th Place, and phase two was the mainline bridge on Del Prado over Jaguar Canal. The third phase was the off-site bridge over the Zurich Canal, and the fourth stage was the mainline bridge over the Zurich Canal.