Posted: June 30, 2021
We know that everyone is excited that Fourth of July celebrations are back on this year! As we anticipate our usual large crowds in Punta Gorda to be even larger this year, we wanted to make sure that residents and visitors can plan ahead for a safe and happy holiday. There will be several traffic changes implemented Sunday night in an effort to minimize traffic congestion after the fireworks display as follows:
- Traffic leaving from the areas east of Tamiami Trail (US-41 North), including Laishley Park, will be directed south to East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) and then east to I-75. Traffic can then go north or south on the interstate. Traffic leaving from this area will not be able to access Tamiami Trail (US-41).
- Traffic leaving from the areas west of Tamiami Trail (US-41 North), except as specified below, will be directed to Cross Street (US-41 South). Traffic may then continue south toward Fort Myers or will be allowed to turn east onto Carmalita Street, north on Cooper Street, and east on East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75. Traffic man then go north or south on the interstate.
- Traffic leaving from City Market Place will be directed north on to Tamiami Trail (US-41 North) toward Port Charlotte.
- Traffic leaving the Herald Court Center parking garage will not be permitted to turn right toward Tamaimi Trail (US-41 North). Traffic will need to turn left towards Taylor Street and will be directed one of two ways depending on traffic congestion. Traffic may be directed to West Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75 where traffic may go north or south on the interstate. Traffic may also be directed to West Marion Avenue (US-17 East) toward Cross Street (US-41 South) where traffic may then continue south toward Fort Myers or will be allowed to turn east onto Carmalita Street, north on Cooper Street, and east on East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75.
Please keep in mind that thousands of people come into Punta Gorda to see the fireworks display and most people are trying to leave at the same time. These changes are meant to minimize congestion, but there is no way to eliminate it. We do expect substantial delays that can last one to two hours after the fireworks display ends, so please plan accordingly!
In addition to the traffic changes it is also important to note that the Laishley boat ramp will be closed beginning 30 minutes prior to the fireworks display. However, the Ponce Park boat ramp will remain open until 11:00 p.m. to provide an alternative to residents and visitors.
We hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and fun Independence Day!