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Pine Island Road widening completed

By Staff | Oct 7, 2014

Courtesy City of Cape Coral Former Cape Coral Mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz and former State Rep. Gary Aubuchon, center, prepare to cut the ribbon and officially open the new State Road 78 lanes. The $8.1 million widening work took more than two decades to complete as several agencies worked over the years to make the project happen. Several state and local elected officials and dignitaries attended the ceremony. 

Nearly three decades after first being proposed, Pine Island Road (State Road 78), from Chiquita Boulevard west to Burnt Store Road, became a four-lane divided highway officially Monday when city and state officials cut a ceremonial ribbon in front of Bubba’s Roadhouse and the German American Social Club.

The project improves the hurricane evacuation route for Pine Island and western Cape Coral residents and guests and is expected to stimulate commercial and economic developments along the way.

Construction began about a year ago and was recently completed to make access much easier for the annual Oktoberfest festival at the German American Club the weekends of Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 24-26.

An $8.5 million state loan funded the widening and median project. Lee County’s Metropolitan Planning Council will pay off the principal with Cape Coral kicking in $775,000 in interest.

Former Mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz and former State Rep. Gary Aubuchon were given the honor of cutting the ribbon surrounded by dignitaries as well as state and local elected officials.

Officials attending included current and former City Council members, city management staff and State Rep. Dane Eagle and many others.

WalMart already has announced plans to build a Super WalMart along the stretch of new road, which completes four lanes on SR 78 all the way to I-75.

The next similar project on the drawing board is the four-laning of Burnt Store Road north from Pine Island Road into Charlotte County to complete that stretch all the way to I-75 at Punta Gorda.