April brings a lot of things, like April Showers, Easter about every other year, the unofficial end of Season, and April Fool’s Day, where you try to pull the wool over the eyes of your family, friends and neighbors.
With something as crucial to the economy, vibrancy and tourism of Fort Myers Beach as the reFRESH Estero Boulevard construction projects, though, even the April Fool’s Day tradition must go by the wayside, so in all seriousness – Segment 1 of Estero Boulevard from the Matanzas Pass Bridge to roughly the Red Coconut RV Park is complete . . . or soon will be!
“Crescent to Miramar Streets is basically done,” explains Kaye Molnar, spokesperson for the projects from Cella Molnar & Associates. “The final bit of construction is the Gulf sidewalk from Miramar to Pearl Streets, with signage and markings from Pearl to north of Chapel Street, meaning we should be done with everything by early April. The concrete barrier wall from Chapel Street to Lovers Lane will come down around the same time, so we are moving quick now. Once the concrete wall goes away, workers will rebuild the bayside sidewalk and roadway, then will do the beachside road and sidewalk. At that point, around Easter, we will essentially be through with Segment 1, so we really are at the last push here!”
Crews continue to install water mains on the beach side from Lovers Lane to Washington Avenue, and Gulfview Avenue to Madera Road, and are filling in points from Washington to Gulfview, including testing and connecting the pipes. From Lovers Lane to Coconut Drive is force main work, with crews surveying utilities from Strandview Avenue to the end of the island.
Kaye said one of the most highly anticipated parts of the reFRESH Estero Boulevard projects is about to begin – the 5-foot dedicated bicycle lanes on each side of the road for the remainder of the island! “People are so excited about the bike lanes,” relates Kaye. “And the road will be even more beautiful than in Segments 1 because we have a two-foot buffer of greenery between the bike lanes and 6-foot-wide sidewalks.” The sidewalks are narrower than the 9-foot-wide version of Segment 1 because they do not share space with bicyclists, and are in a less-dense walking portion of the island. She cautions, however, that “Lee County Commissioners have yet to authorize any work for Segment 2, however we expect that to come in April so we can start to work in May.”
As for construction during Easter Week of April 9 to 16, “we will work,” said Kaye, “but not on the major roadway; we will clean things up as much as possible for Easter Week and do projects along the side of the road, leaving open two lanes of traffic.” For ongoing information or to receive email updates, see www.reFRESHFMBeach.com or contact Cella Molnar & Associates, Inc., at 239-337-1071, 877-496-1076, or email at email@example.com.