Estero Boulevard Construction Update

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Waterline Replacement Project Nearly Done

For all of our readers who got stuck in paralyzing traffic this week – especially on Tuesday when the early rain sent all the snowbirds and tourists scurrying off the island in the middle of the weekday morning rush hour – Kaye Molnar has three words for you: It’s almost over.

“I also want to remind everyone that two lanes will be open during the week of Thanksgiving,” Kaye told us. “After that, most of the flagging operation will be over.”

Kaye is with CellaMolnar & Associates – the public relations firm hired by both the Town and the County to answer questions regarding the Town’s waterline replacement project and the installation of a natural gas line (ongoing now) and the County’s reconstruction of Estero Boulevard (which began last week).

Last week, she told us that the Town’s crews had installed 5,080 feet of 6,353 total feet of new water pipe – and on Tuesday she reported that only 800 feet remain left to install.

“Right now we’ve got flaggers out there all day, every day, because we’re trying to hurry up and get the Town project done,” she said. “The county’s project will have two lanes open nearly all the time so we don’t see it causing a big problem with traffic.”

Molnar said that the two crews working between Alva (near Carolina) and Tropical Shores Way to meet each other at Pearl Street are progressing rapidly.

“We are already starting to make connections to the new pipe between Crescent and Alva, so those people will be hooked up to the new waterline in a couple of weeks once the tests come back,” she said. “Once the two crews meet and all the pipe is laid – which we expect will be done by Thanksgiving, we will have a very limited flagging operation as we restore the road and flush the new pipes.”

As far as the County’s project, they will be in the area between Red Coconut and Lovers Lane for ‘about three weeks’ and will then move further north along Estero as the Town finishes flushing the new water pipes, making sure they’re safe and putting them into operation.

Another piece of good news is that the detour around the Time Square area will be gone by next week.

“The crews will be out there restriping on Thursday, and once they are done they will remove the detour,” Kaye told us. “There will be some lane shifts, but the normal traffic pattern on and off the island will resume.”

Kaye reminded everyone that it’s not just the flaggers causing the traffic back up, it’s delivery trucks, garbage trucks, and – in the case of Tuesday morning – Mother Nature.

“We do monitor it all the time but when that rain kicked up I guess everyone decided to leave the island all at once so we had to change the flow to allow more cars off than on,” she said. “Once we got that straightened out it wasn’t so bad.

“Please everyone – stay patient – we are nearly done with the one lane situation!”

Drivers are reminded to not block side streets and driveways, leave a gap so you don’t contribute to traffic back ups.

Visit the website at www.reFRESHFMBeach.com for project information. You may sign up on the website to receive emails about the project. If you have questions or concerns during construction, please contact Kaye at 239-337-1071, (toll-free) 877-496-1076 or via e-mail to kmolnar@cella.cc.

Keri Hendry Weeg