Sunnybrook sidewalk project gets mixed reactions

SUN PHOTO BY TOM CHANG Construction crews work near the intersection of Sunnybrook Boulevard and McFadden Avenue Friday in Rotonda, The new sidewalks, which are scheduled to be completed in February, will run from South Access Road to Boundary Boulevard, according to Charlotte County project manager John Elias.

ENGLEWOOD — Linsey Peyton is an avid runner and, thanks to a sidewalk project on Sunnybrook Boulevard, she’ll soon be able to run a little more safely in her own neighborhood.

“They just got here,” said Peyton, who lives on Sunnybrook. “I think it’s wonderful they’re doing sidewalks so I can go running without dealing with some of the crazy drivers here.”

The only complaint she has is how the presence of the construction crew building the sidewalk from South Access Road to Boundary Boulevard in Rotonda makes her dogs anxious. It’s a sentiment shared by her neighbor, Shelli Rainey.

“I’m not happy with it,” Rainey said. “The (construction) mess has blocked our driveway. We had to park in our neighbor’s driveway (Thursday). My dogs are going crazy because of this.”

Rainey said there isn’t a call for the sidewalk and in her more than two years of living on Sunnybrook Boulevard, she’s not seen one person walk on the road.    “I don’t see any purpose in this sidewalk,” she said.

Nick Barnes, who moved to the area in January, said the construction is only a slight nuisance.

“I feel the time of the year could have been better chosen considering the season,” Barnes said. “It just might be better to do the construction at night. The only notice we had was from the electronic sign down the road.”

The sidewalks will be 8 feet wide, according to Charlotte County project manager John Elias.

“The cost of the project is $502,635,” Elias said. “It was funded through the sales tax program. The project was in design and planning for a year.”

Elias said the project should take 150 days.

“We’re excited to build this on Englewood East connecting South Access Road to an existing sidewalk on Boundary Boulevard,” he said. “This will connect to a future project on Gulfstream and Oceanspray boulevards.”

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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