Capital Circle Southwest Expansion Hashed Out

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Plans to widen another stretch of Tallahassee's Capital Circle are on the drawing board. A Town Hall meeting Thursday night let the folks on the southwest side know what's going on.

Blueprint 2000 officials presented information they gathered from six forums they held this year, where residents and business owners voiced concerns about expanding Capital Circle Southwest.

During rush hour Capital Circle Southwest is known for its heavy congestion.

"People have traffic backed up for long spaces of time in the morning and afternoon during the rush hours," said Charlotte Thomas.

Thomas owns Custom Glass just off Capital Circle Southwest. She plans to attend a meeting Thursday night where residents will share their concerns about expanding the busy sector.

"It's very critical for economic development of the south side as part of the southern strategies, we think it's very important," said Jim Davis, executive director of Blueprint 2000.

Blueprint 2000 officials hope adding additional lanes and new side roads will help cut back congestion to businesses and the airport. It's part of a project to make the entire Capital Circle loop a six-lane highway.

At forums earlier this year, residents and business owners voiced concerns over what the expansion would mean for the area. Decreased recreation and protecting the environment and neighborhoods topped the list.

Thomas believes any change will be good for her business and she's willing to put up with whatever comes with it.

"So, you're willing to take the construction along with it," Eyewitness News reporter Andrea Candrian asked.

"Yes, I am," she replied. "I dread it, but yes, I'm ready to take that on also."

Once Blueprint 2000 officials have all the concerns hashed out the next step is deciding where corridors would go. That will happen next month. There's no money for this project yet until 2018, so construction wouldn't start for at least another ten years.