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Cape, county each approve road projects

January 17, 2019
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Two road improvement projects, one in the city and another in North Fort Myers, are anticipated to make travel for motorists a little bit easier.

One project, passed by the Cape Coral City Council during its regular meeting Monday, is to award Ajax Paving Industries of Florida a contract to re-pave 22 lane miles of six major roadways at a cost of just over $1.4 million.

The roads to be resurfaced include two stretches of Chiquita Boulevard south of Pine Island Road and Cape Coral Parkway, Gulfstream and Yucatan parkways from Burnt Store to Old Burnt Store roads, Southeast 47th Terrace from Palm Tree Boulevard to Coronado, and Vincennes Boulevard.

Article Photos

Project map

The project includes other related work such as milling, utilities adjustments, limited structural repair and restriping, and has a completion time frame of 120 days after the notice to proceed is issued.

On Dec. 10, the City Council approved an additional $4.6 million for 82 lane miles of "minor roads." Pavement Management was awarded the contract for that. An additional $500,000 is spent to repair potholes.

Cape Councilmember John Gunter, from District 1, said there are some areas being done in his district, which covers the South Cape. Portions of Cornwallis and Blanco Grande are being done, as well as Southeast 47th Terrace and Vincennes.

"We budget $6.5 million every year for repaving projects. We get a lot of complaints for some of the conditions of the roads," Gunter said. "During the recession nothing was getting done and we're still trying to play catch-up."

City Manager John Szerlag has budgeted $6.5 million for road repaving for each of the past five years as some roads had not been repaved in decades.

Another project, which is slightly more long term, is one that was approved the Lee County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday which will widen a 1.2-mile stretch of Littleton Road to three lanes from Corbett Road to U.S. 41.

The plan will include two 11-foot travel lanes and one 12-foot bi-directional lane with on-road bike lanes and 6-foot sidewalks on both sides. A minimum right-of-way width of 92 feet is needed to accommodate these improvements.

"Among the comments we heard was what kind of an impact a four-lane road would have on the community. We looked at the alternatives and we found we can add a central turn lane and right turn lanes into the community and still improve traffic flow and still keep the appeal," County Commissioner Brian Hamman said.

The original plan was to make Littleton four lanes. However, that would have required the relocation of 36 residential units and the purchase of rights-of-way for roadway improvements, which alone would have added nearly $14 million to the cost. A four-lane highway would have cost $31.2 million, as opposed to $14.2 million for three lanes.

"This is actually more in line with the community's vision and saves the taxpayers money," Hamman said.

The widening is part of another plan to connect Littleton Road to Kismet Boulevard in Cape Coral to create one road and another east-west corridor into Cape Coral. Currently, drivers on Littleton need to take a left and an immediate right to access Kismet.



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