Charlotte County residents fear Harborview Road expansion, but FDOT says it will improve safety

Author: Camila Pereira Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

Harborview Road will soon see expansion from two lanes to four over the next two years, and it’s all in an effort to improve road safety.

“I’ve been learning or hearing that some of the residents refer to this road as ‘Dead Man’s Bend,'” said Janella Newsome, Florida Department of Transportation’s District 1 Director of Public Information, “and so, our response to that is improving safety was a key component of the purpose and need for the project and specifically the curves along the roadway.”

According to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, there have been 36 crashes along this road in the past year.

So FDOT states safety is one thing they considered, as well as the growing population in the county with the number of vehicles, including trucks, using the roadway every day.

And that has both homeowners, Tracy Hoffman and Stephanie Lawrence, worried after already having seen firsthand the dangers of Harborview Road on Sunday.

A drunk driver in a red pickup truck flipped onto their driveway at 1:30 a.m. and rammed their parked car into their home.

“We’re going to go to a four-lane highway,” Tracy said, “and it’s close to I-75, so semi-trucks and everything will be using this. It’s not a normal neighborhood street. I don’t think a wider road is going to be good.”

And with the expanded road being closer to their home, only 10 feet away from their bedroom window, Tracy and Stephanie said they know it’s not if, but when another crash will happen.

But Newsome said that’s the reason FDOT is involved.

“If FDOT is doing a project, we always have safety in mind,” she said. “Safety is our priority as well as the community’s needs, and so usually after studies, and after we’ve collected data, when we make moves like this, it’s typically because there is a safety issue to consider.”

Construction costs for the expansion of Harborview Road come out to $48 million, and Janella said both the county and federal dollars will pay for the project.

The project is expected to be complete by mid-2026.

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