Groundbreaking for Southeast 47th Terrace
The city of Cape Coral’s goal of making Southeast 47th Terrace a destination for people looking to dine, drink, shop and have fun came a step closer Thursday.
The city of Cape Coral and its Community Development Agency broke ground for the Southeast 47th Terrace Streetscape Project behind Big Blue Brewing off of Southeast10th Place.
“I believe this will be the best streetscape project in all of Florida,” said city manager John Szerlag. “We know this will assist in us becoming a destination point, bringing more people down here so people within the around the project will have great success.”
Businesses along the road were invited to come to promote themselves by taking part in the event by offering samples of foods, drinks and information about their products and services.
“We’re very excited to get this project started. I can’t wait to have a new and improved road,” said Joann Elardo, owner of the Blue Dolphin. “I think the city is doing the best they can to add parking spots on the side roads and I think that will cover those lost on 47th Terrace.”
Suzanne Tichenor, a stylist at Salon@Club Square, took a similar view.
“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “The Cape is growing, people are coming here and we need to pretty up the city so people can enjoy it for generations to come,” said Suzanne Tichenor, a stylist at Salon@Club Square.
City Council, also sitting as the CRA board, unanimously approved the project Dec. 11.
The $13 million project is expected to be finished by the end of the year. The project will extend from Coronado Parkway to Southeast 15th Street, just a few hundred feet from Del Prado.
The streetscape will be more pedestrian friendly, with the width of the street greatly reduced to slow cars down and promote travel by foot. There will be wide, multi-use paths on both sides as well as new landscaping features, such as smaller trees to replace the larger ones that have pulled up the sidewalks.
The area’s infrastructure, from sewer to stormwater, will also be replaced.
There will be three valet stations and a nickel ride, with additional parking at Big John’s and Club Square that is intended to make up for the loss of on-street parking, all of which will be removed.
The parking issue was a primary bone of contention for some businesses, including Merrick’s Seafood. It was feared that the project would destroy foot traffic if all on-street parking removed.
Accommodations were made , to include three designated short-term and two designated handicapped parking spaces across the street at Big John’s for Merrick’s Seafood. Club Square and Big Johns will be reconfigured to handle more parking.
Another issue was the roundabout planned for Vincennes Boulevard, which critics said would make it dangerous, or even impossible, for those with vision impairment to cross.
Szerlag said the roundabout would make the road safer as it would slow down traffic, as would the reduced width of the road to accommodate increased foot traffic.