NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — The City of North Port broke ground on a major infrastructure project Monday morning. It will bring sewer and water services to the I-75 corridor along Sumter Boulevard, an area the city calls the “Gateway Corridor.”

The area is slated to see significant development in the years to come, including the city’s first hospital. According to a news release, Sarasota Memorial is in the due diligence phase of its planning for the project.

City leaders tell 8 On Your Side that bringing these utility services online is essential for the city to continue to grow. Earlier this year, Quicken Loans named North Port the second fastest-growing city in the United States.

The infrastructure project will be primarily funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. The city says the total cost is $3.8 million.

“This is a great opportunity for the city to be able to grow with the help of our government, and to encourage businesses and medical professionals and people to live here and to stay here and work. It is all trenchless technology, so it will be done by February. It is a very quick way to add infrastructure, and we are getting a lot of people that are interested in coming to North Port – good businesses, good jobs. We are really excited about it,” said the city’s utilities director Nancy Gallinaro.

The expansion includes 1.5 miles of water and 2.2 miles of sewer mains. Sarasota-based company Spectrum Underground Inc. is slated to complete the project within one year, according to the city.

A 2021 study found 90 percent of North Port residents commute to jobs outside the city. They believe this expansion will change that.

“This could produce up to 4,000 new jobs in that area,” said Gallinaro. “This area is not a slowing down, so we want to make sure we keep up with that, and do the best we can for the city and have good, clean, sustainable growth,” she continued.