The good news is that Buckley’s Pass, formerly know as the Bird Section Cut-through is well on its way to completion. The completion target date is April 2020. I personally think this is ambitious because of many delays already and judging from where the work is now but there seems to be no doubt it will be completed this year. You can easily google Buckley’s Pass and find aerial drone footage of the work that’s been done.
I have said in the past that it will be questionable as to whether this will increase property values and demand. Prior local speculation is that vacant land prices would have sky rocketed by now as soon as the pass construction was approved and that there would be very little buildable lots left to choose from. However, I don’t see this happening. In the past 6 months there has been 9 waterfront lots sold with most well under $200,000. That’s not a lot of money for a sea-walled lot in a top neighborhood. There are about 34 lots on the market as of this writing. Sailors and power boaters, this may be a great opportunity at this time since prices are still muted if you have an interest in building a new home! I certainly can’t predict the future but based on land sales the real estate buying public has not reacted to the completion date of Buckley’s Pass.
The city of Punta Gorda would likely be thinking that this was a good project because it will increase property values and thus increase their tax revenue. We will see how this pans out. Property owners have been forecasted to pay about $1000 per lot towards the cost of the project which seems quite fair to me regardless of whether they get a boost in property value or not.
The big piece is that everyone in the Bird Section (all streets named after birds) will have a shorter boat ride time out to open water and shorter is always better. If you examine a little closer you will see that about 50% of the homeowners do not have boats parked behind their house so this aspect may not be of any benefit to the non-boaters for which there are plenty.
Lastly, I have not heard talk of the need for channel maintenance and dredging after completion of Buckley’s Pass to keep the water depth to a consistent 6 feet mean low water. For sure, this will need to be monitored closely because a huge amount of water will be flowing through this “cut” especially on the outgoing tide when the myriad of canals drain with the outgoing tide.