The purpose of the feasibility study is to evaluate the potential widening of North Jones Loop Road (CR 768) up to six lanes from Burnt Store Road (CR 765) to Piper Road in Charlotte County, Florida. The project will include mobility, safety, intersection, emergency response, and evacuation improvements.
During the development of the Charlotte County-Punta Gorda Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), citizens identified North Jones Loop Road (CR 768) as one of the top roads to invest in within Charlotte County given the growth occurring and expected to continue within this portion of the county. According to the 2040 LRTP, the population of Charlotte County as a whole is expected to increase by 32% from 156,600 residents in 2010 to 207,214 residents in 2040; countywide employment is expected to increase comparatively by 30% from 64,797 workers in 2010 to 84,387 workers in 2040. Most of Charlotte County's population growth is expected to occur within existing or redeveloped areas/neighborhoods, such as the City of Punta Gorda.
The project is located in an area that is transitioning from a rural to urban environment. Per the City of Punta Gorda and Charlotte County Future Land Use Maps, the corridor is intended to support commercial uses and the economic district of Punta Gorda Interstate Airport Park [formerly Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park], which is located east of I-75 and immediately north of North Jones Loop Road (CR 768) and includes Punta Gorda Airport. The Punta Gorda Interstate Airport Park is a designated Foreign Trade Zone and encompasses 4,300 acres of land available for aviation, manufacturing, and distribution companies. In the last five years, numerous businesses have relocated to the area such as Cheney Brothers distribution facility [creating 500 new jobs], Amigo Pallets, and Metal Craft Marine.
The following goals and objectives have been identified for this study:
- Increase capacity
- Improve area wide connectivity and local/regional mobility
- Support local economic development initiatives and planned area growth
- Enhance emergency evacuation response times
- Enhance access for freight and commuter traffic