There have been a lot of changes going on over the last few weeks with the Estero Boulevard Reconstruction project. That project, being run by Lee County, is in full swing now that the Town’s Waterline Construction project is nearly complete.
The Town’s project, called ReFresh Fort Myers Beach, actually broke ground in 2013 when workers began replacing the Town’s aging – and often broken – water system. Approved by island voters via referendum in 2008, the project started with side street neighborhoods off of Estero Boulevard and moved to the main road in anticipation of Lee County’s plans to upgrade Estero with sidewalks, landscaping and water drainage. The second part of the project, run by Lee County (that actually owns the road) is a reconstruction of the boulevard itself – including long-needed upgrades such as sidewalks, bicycle paths, new sewer lines and drainage improvements.
Kaye Molnar of Cella Molnar and Associates –spokesperson for the projects, told us the county is working to install new sanitary sewer lines for the first section of construction – Time Square to Red Coconut – after which they will go in and replace Estero Boulevard itself, complete with all the additions – such as 9 ft. sidewalks – depicted on the project’s website, refreshfmbeach.com.
“Currently, crews are continuing with the installation of sanitary sewer lines in the area from the 7-11 south,” Kaye told us. “Basically, they do a sidewalk demolition first – starting at Crescent Street south to Carolina Avenue – then they put the conduit in, and then they reconstruct the sidewalk.”
Molnar told us that two lanes of traffic are kept open at all times during this work, and that pedestrians are re-routed to an adjacent newly asphalted area to walk on while the sidewalk is torn up.
“That’s pretty much what’s going to be happening over the next few weeks – the crews will keep working south,” she told us. “They are also going to start pouring the concrete curbing, though they can’t do that if it’s raining, so we’ll see.”
As far as the Town’s waterline project, Kaye told us that crews will be working for the rest of the month making connections to the new main line that has been installed, after which that project will be complete for the first section of Estero Boulevard. Next up for the waterlines will be the side streets off of North Estero Boulevard (north of Time Square). That section of Estero is owned by the Town, and the reconstruction of it was completed in 2011.
“I know it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, but we are moving along,” she said. “Here in a month or so we’ll probably be shifting some areas to the beach side of the boulevard, so drivers may meander a bit but two lanes will remain open and we’re dedicated to keeping things moving smoothly.”
Have questions or want more information? Visit the website at www.reFRESHFMBeach.com for construction information. You may sign up on the website to receive emails about the project. If you have questions or concerns during construction, please contact the reFRESH Estero Boulevard public information officer, Kaye Molnar, Cella Molnar & Associates, Inc. at 239-337-1071 or via e-mail to email@example.com.
Keri Hendry Weeg