Construction in Port Charlotte making a traffic mess

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla- A major construction project in Charlotte County is making roads a mess and sending more traffic to already busy U.S. 41.

Edgewater Drive will be shut down for the next two years to update bridges, widen roadways and add roundabouts. The project will cost $28 million, paid for by taxpayer dollars from a one cent sales tax increase for the past handful of years.

“The congestion plus rerouting of traffic on 41 due to the road closures back on Edgewater has made it probably, I would say, at least three times heavier,” said Donald Sleitweiler who works near Harbor Boulevard and U.S. 41.

Engineers showed WINK News the plans on site. They tell us Edgewater, a main route from Port Charlotte to Englewood, will be closed for the next two years.

“Shutting this whole road down in my way of thinking doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense,” said neighbor Howard Shaw.

He says it’s not only a pain for neighbors but it’s causing a domino effect. Traffic is rerouted to U.S. 41 using access roads through neighborhoods.

The Florida Department of Transportation has been monitoring the extra traffic on U.S. 41 and after an analysis they made minor changes to traffic light timing that may help congestion.

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