CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A new canal connection could benefit Cape Coral. Plans, obtained by WINK News, could bring a big boost to the downtown area, and a big boost to property values.
The city is looking at what it would take to connect two major canals near Four Freedoms Park. But could come with a price tag of millions of dollars.
The city originally looked at the plans before the housing bust. The plans show a newly connected canal, and a new drawbridge in a busy part of Cape Coral.
What's bringing them back? Councilman Jim Burch says it's the city's new mayor, and a renewed hope the economy is improving.
"She saw the plans we had done many years ago and said 'why are they still sitting on the shelf?' And I agree with her. Why don't we take a look at it?" said Burch
If the city were to connect the Rubican Canal with Bimini Basin, and place a bridge over Cape Coral Parkway, Burch says it would increase the values of upwards of 900 properties.
He believes it will revitalize the area near Four Freedoms park, and funnel boaters downtown - providing easy access to the river.
"I think it would be a good idea, so the neighbors on the other side, they wouldn't have to go around," said resident Raidel Pichardo.
But doing so could cost tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Some say that's just too much money.
"I don't think its a wise thing do to. I think it's going to cost too much money and the money could be diverted into other projects," said resident Raphael Douglas.
Burch says the city is coming up with an official plan and is looking at the idea of public-private partnerships to shoulder the project's heavy cost.
Projects such as these don't happen overnight, and even if the city officially approved it, the Army Corp of Engineers would be involved in the permits.
Burch says it could be at least a couple of years before we'd ever see a shovel in the ground.