Charlotte County drivers content with Burnt Store Rd. improvements

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Fresh asphalt lies along the new four lanes on Burnt Store Road, a street many drivers say is one of the most dangerous in Charlotte County.

There have been 11 crashes on the road so far in 2015.

“We had a lot of accidents out here, a lot of people died out on this road and it wasn’t lit up,” said Craig Williams.¬†“People are building more homes and it’s becoming more populated, the infrastructure has to¬†be bigger.”

Drivers say more lanes, lights and sidewalks are making them feel safer behind the wheel.

“It’s gone from a white-knuckle, two-lane road to a decent, really nice four-lane road,” added Gregg Cameron. “It is definitely safer. The road was narrow,¬†a lot of big trucks going on it and a difficult drive.”

Crews worked on straightening out a curve on Burnt Store Road near Zemel Road. Brian Barnes, who oversaw the construction project, says smoothing out the sharp turn for drivers was a top priority.

“Commercial vehicles had to pull out on the road on the sharp curve and people coming around couldn’t see them and had to slow down immediately, which¬†had a tendency to have accidents,” Barnes said. “I¬†think the road winds very nicely, it’s much safer. It’s wide open, it gives people a lot of ability to see what’s coming and nobody can surprise you.”

The county is currently trying to determine if it has sufficient funds to improve additional sections of Burnt Store Road.

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