Last phase to widen Sumter Boulevard in North Port begins

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NORTH PORT, FL - After more than a decade, work has begun to finish the last phase of widening Sumter boulevard in North Port.

The last phase of widening from two lanes to four runs from Price boulevard south to around Libby road.

City leaders officially breaking ground this past weekend but work crews have been busy for weeks. Widening from I-75 to U.S. 41 through the heart of the city began in the late 90's.

Mayor Jim Blucher says it completes a main gateway and means more than just easing traffic. "It makes a great first impression for those coming in. Either wanting to live here, work here, or open a business here."

The nearly one and a half mile stretch needing the work will cost close to $10 million. It will include decorative landscaping and walkways. Work is expected to be complete in December of next year.