Some Islanders have noticed stakes and pink markers appearing along Estero Boulevard south of Red Coconut. The reason is – in a few weeks the Town’s waterline replacement project and Lee County’s road reconstruction project will be breaking ground from the RV park down to Madera Road (one street past Publix).
Kaye Molnar of Cella Molnar & Associates – the media relations firm hired to represent both the Town’s waterline replacement project and the County’s Estero Boulevard reconstruction project – explained that this segment will go a bit differently than the first.
“The Town is working with the county to start this phase concurrently – meaning we will begin replacing the old water main in the area near Red Coconut RV Park at the same time as the County begins installing a new sanitary sewer line near Washington Street,” she said. “This will allow the county to put temporary pavement down so we can maintain two-way traffic throughout the project.”
Kaye said that the first thing islanders will see is the staking of the Right of Way (ROW) for that section. That is what the stakes and pink markers are.
“This week, we have been going out with the contractor to address ROW issues,” she said. “We’ve been meeting with homeowners and businesses who have encroachments like landscaping, pavers, signs, et cetera into the County’s ROW.”
Kaye assured us that crews will do everything they can to alleviate these ROW issues to make sure that everyone is satisfied.
“For instance, if someone has pavers in the ROW, the contractor has an item in their contract saying that they must remove the pavers to the edge of the ROW, put them on a pallet and leave them on the property,” she said. “In other locations, they are working to make sure that the new road and improvements will meet up accurately with the adjoining property.”
Once the ROW issues are resolved, he first thing islanders will see is the demolition of the Gulf-side lane followed by the installation of the new water main, then testing of the new pipe, connection with each side street and, finally, the restoration of the road itself.
”Any ‘boil water’ notices will be sent out ahead of time, and anyone who has someone in their house with handicap issues or who gets picked up regularly by a bus – please call us so we can maintain that schedule,” she said.
“TECO will also be installing their natural gas line, but this time they will be working with the county instead of sharing (the Town’s) trench,” Kaye continued. “To my knowledge, they will only be going as far as Publix.” She referred any additional questions regarding the gas line to TECO.
For Lee County’s road reconstruction project, Kaye told us that ‘the Town and the county are still working together’.
“They will start at Washington and work south – with the two crews working together – then they will come back and do the area between Red Coconut and Washington,” she said. “The reason for that is so they can install temporary pavement to keep the road smoother. Keep in mind that the County’s new sanitary sewer line will be on the bay side of Estero, while the new water main will be on the Gulf side. They (county) will also be putting in new 8 -9 foot sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the road.”
Kaye explained that the only place where flagging might occur will be on the small section in front of Red Coconut.
“The ROW there is only 50 feet, after that it opens up to 65 feet, which gives us a lot more room to work with,” he said.
As far as work on segment one – Crescent to Red Coconut – Kaye told us that the pavers for the first part (just south of Lani Kai to Miramar Street) of the new center-lane stormwater drainage system began going in this week.
“So by the end of September, we should be done with that section and move on the next – which will be from Palm (DiamondHead) to Chapel Street,” she said. “However, we are still waiting for FP&L to move their poles – they have been working as hard as they can, but the weather hasn’t been helping. Every time it rains, they have to stop.”
Anyone who has any questions regarding any part of the project can call Kaye at Cella Molnar – 239-337-1071, or visit the website for both projects: www.refreshfmbeach.com.
Keri Hendry Weeg