Piper Road construction project nears completion, opens March 21

Neighbors who live near the intersection of Piper Rd. and Henry St. said they have been playing the waiting game for far too long. It is still closed two years after construction has started, but it looks finished.

“It seems to be months,” Ron Cooke said. “We came here in October for the winter and it looked like it was almost ready to go then.”

“For whatever reason, I don’t understand why they don’t open it there’s no one on it,” Donald Soucy said. “It’s not being used. It would eliminate a traffic problem at the corner of Bermont Rd. and Piper.”

Orange barricades have stopped hundreds of drivers from using a new stretch of road. But the county allowed WINK News to check it out and take a test drive on the nearly two-mile stretch of roadway that connects Henry St. to US-17.

Brian Barnes, Capital Projects Engineer for Charlotte County Public Works, said the project has been under construction for the past 18 months. Now, they are just working out some minor kinks, such as asphalt repairs and lighting.

“Right now, we’ve had some little problems with the LED lights,” Barnes said. “This will be the first roadway in Charlotte County ever lit with LED lights and people driving it at night will notice that its a much brighter white light on the new section than the old section.”

The new road has been paid for by the penny tax, which was passed by Charlotte County voters in 2012. The tax measure has paid for the nearly $8 million road extension.

The roadway is expected to open within the next two weeks. Officially, it will be open on March 21. Barnes said with the new lighting, motorists should have no problem keeping their eyes on the road.

Writer:Michael Mora