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Pine Island Road loan approved

By Staff | Feb 26, 2011

Cape Coral is set to receive a $14 million state infrastructure bank loan for right-of-way acquisition along Pine Island Road, which would move the oft-delayed project closer to completion.
Acting Transportation Manager Persides Zambrano said right-of-way acquisition was the most difficult piece to acquire funding for, and finding construction funding would be easier down the road.
“Due to the economy, this is the best time to buy right of way,” she said. “Right of way is the most expensive.”
The Metropolitan Planning Organization will pay back the principal on the loan, while the city is responsible for the interest, according to Zambrano.
The interest equates to $2 million that will be due back to the state, she added.
The state DOT also gathered another $17 million that will be used for right of way acquisition, but any leftover funding will be applied to construction.
FDOT Secretary for District 1, Stan Cann, said the state found the other $17 million through “really good bids.”
“Both of those sources will be for right of way acquisition, so that will be taken off the shoulders of the city,” Cann said.
The project could be completed in four years, according to Zambrano.
That time frame also falls in line with the widening of Burnt Store Road, which would put two much-needed, and delayed road construction projects, in progress at the same time.
“We didn’t plan it that way but it’s a good thing it’s happening,” Zambrano said. “We’ll work on coordination, so there aren’t too many problems.”
Pine Island Road would be widened from Chiquita to Burnt Store, while Burnt Store would be widened from Pine Island Road to Tropicana Parkway. Burnt Store is a county road, while Pine Island is a state road.