PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Starting next Monday, drivers in Charlotte County will have some traffic detours to deal with until summertime! Crews will be replacing underground culverts along US 41. But they have to shut down portions of the north and southbound 41 access roads to do that.
WINK News found out some businesses along that stretch aren't happy to see this starting right when the busy season does.
One of the business that will be impacted by this access road closure is Gatorz Bar and Grill. The owner says while he understands the work needs to be done, he wishes the timing were a little different
The equipment is out and the signs are up alerting drivers that both sides of this 41-access road will be shut down for several months starting January 6th. But just as some business owners are looking forward to a fresh start in 20-14...
"We struggled very bad last summer," says Frank Carnelli.
Gatorz Bar and Grill owner Frank Carnelli says this isn't going to help.
"They just came this morning to tell us they're going to be closed for seven months right in our season which starts right now... it's gonna hurt a lot of people," he says.
But Capital Projects Engineer Brian Barnes says this work is necessary to prevent a soggy mess up the road.
"The current drainage system is such that in a heavy storm, the water will back up the canals north of here and impact Midway Blvd.," he says.
It's why crews are drilling horizontally underground and putting several large culverts in at various waterways. This will increase the amount of water that can flow through these canals.
"These will be open just as soon as we can get them open once the culverts go in. But we're looking at 200 days," Barnes adds.
"I've got great customers and a lot of them are going to bite the bullet and they're going to drive around, they'll get here but there's some that are just going to say well we'll just go somewhere else," Carnelli adds.
Project leaders remind drivers that in the coming months be aware of various traffic detours.
There will be two constructions zones along those access roads.
Location 1: Northbound US 41 Access Road between Herkimer Street and Conway Boulevard.
Location 2: Southbound US 41 Access Road between Dow Road NE and Conway Boulevard.