Reodway completion celebration attracts a good crowd
Many gathered at Del Prado Boulevard and Diplomat Parkway to participate in the Grand Opening and Family Fun Walk held to celebrate the completion of the road expansion from Pine Island Road to Kismet Parkway on Del Prado Boulevard Saturday morning.
The Del Prado road poject included the expansion from four to six lanes, the widening of two bridges and construction of three new bridges, new street lighting and traffic signals, improved landscaping and a new 10-foot-wide multi-use path.
The celebration began with many speeches before the crowd gathered in the intersection for a ribbon cutting.
Mayor John Sullivan told the crowd that the completion of the project was a big event because it is going to lead to excellent things for the city. He said the poject means that Cape Coral can now handle future growth.
The team effort, Sullivan said, provided the completion of a very successful project.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment,” he said.
City Councilmember Kevin McGrail spoke Saturday morning, saying it was a glorious day to be in Cape Coral.
“This is the vision that formal council had for our city,” he told the crowd.
McGrail said the biggest advantage of the project is rather than having a divider line through neighborhoods; neighbors will now be meeting their neighbors as they experience the Florida sunshine on the linear path.
“Enjoy the vision of the future here today,” he said beacuse he will meet everyone on the western edge of the city when the Burnt Store Road and State Road 78 project is done in 2014.
State Rep. Gary Aubuchon also attended the celebration Saturday morning to share a few words. He told the crowd that it takes a vision to make a project like the Del Prado Boulevard widening to happen.
This project, Aubuchon siad, was unique because it was a true revision of what previous city council members had already explored. Leadership and corporation was the No. 1 ingredient that made the project come to life, he said.
“To do great things we need to work together and it takes hard work,” he said.
Aubuchon said Saturday was a great day for the city of Cape Coral because the project was completed for residents to enjoy.
Melinda Metz joined in on the festivities wearing a shirt that stated “I smile because you’ve all finally driven me crazy.” She said she wore the shirt because of all the construction that occurred around her home. She has lived in the area for 23 years.
“This is wonderful,” Metz said about the final outcome of the construction. “It’s just amazing.”
Although she said she could not pinpoint her favorite part about the finished project, she thought the bridges and the lights that shine on the palm trees at night are beautiful.
“It’s just gorgeous,” Metz said, smiling.
The celebration was great because she had the opportunity to visit with some of those that were involved in fixing the roads around her home, she said.
Once the ribbon cutting was over, individuals had the opportunity to walk the linear path while visiting a variety of booths from local businesses. The local businesses offered water for those walking, along with a variety of coupons.
As individuals walked the path that was adjacent to Del Prado Blvd. Saturday morning, they also had the opportunity to read some facts about the project that began in 2008 and utilized 124,176 hours of work without an incident occurring.
A sign indicated that on average the traffic volume every day for Del Prado Boulevard from Kismet to Pine Island Road consisted of 23,400 vehicles.
Some of those facts about the project included 129 new street lights, a variety of 32 plants and 553 palm trees were planted, 26,666 tons of asphalt was used for the road widening project, 30,291 square yards of concrete was used for the sidewalks, the project included five ponds, five dry retention areas and seven rain gardens and 20,936 linear feet of storm water pipe was installed.
Joseph Francioni stopped at one of the many booths along the path Saturday with his kids to see what kind of goodies they were handing out. He said the grand opening and Family Fun Walk was a nice idea because it was a way to get the community involved.
The celebration was a great way to end a project and the linear path he was a nice addition to having along the stretch of the road, he sad.
“Something for the community is done,” he said about the opening of the road and the linear path.