Lee Commissioners Approve Segment 2 Funding
In Mid-May, the Lee Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved Segment 2 reFRESH Estero Boulevard construction from Lovers Lane to Strandview Avenue for $18,284,484. Chris-Tel Construction received the new contract, just as with Segment 1, to begin work this month through the balance of 2018.
Sand Life provides a monthly update on the reFRESH Estero Boulevard Projects, the largest capital improvement in the long history of Fort Myers Beach. Generally, we list what construction is going on, but you pretty much need a map to follow along. To put personality into the process, we asked Kaye Molnar, spokesperson for the projects from Cella Molnar & Associates, a few questions to make sense of it all.
Q: Will Segment 2 require the concrete construction wall and, if so, where first?
The short answer is, unfortunately, yes, we will need the wall because the difference in elevation from Bay to Beach sides can be up to 18 inches. The question is where will it go up first, and the likeliest answer is by whichever of the initial four Segment 2 joint outfalls come under construction first, as we cannot get very far down the road without the center lane storm drainage system, and that requires the outfalls. By the way, in a point of interest, we will do Segment 2 the reverse of Segment 1, by doing first the southbound lane, then the center, and finally the northbound lane.
Q: What special construction requirements are necessary for the Red Coconut RV Park section?
The Red Coconut Right-of-Way widens from 50 to 65 feet, but not evenly. We simply won’t know until we are there if we can do the work utilizing construction barrels and similar things to keep open two lanes of traffic. We may have to narrow it to alternating one-lane traffic, however, particularly around the curve there, if it becomes a safety concern.
Q: How long will Lee County need the former Seafarer’s property for a construction staging area?
There really are no other comparable areas like Seafarer’s to store construction materials until the south end of the island, other than the Right-of-Way along the route, and people hate that. I think we are clearly coming to the end of the time we will use that site, but I don’t know what the Lee County Board of Commissioners will ultimately do with the property.
Kaye reminds everyone that with Segment 1 now complete to Lovers Lane, that the Estero Boulevard speed limit is 25 miles-per-hour. “Now that you finally have this nice new smooth drivable surface, suppress the need for speed, and please behave yourself. We want people to feel safe using Estero Boulevard. And finally, while we are just entering rainy season, every time it rains, the drainage so far is draining!” For updates, see www.reFRESHFMBeach.com or contact Cella Molnar & Associates, Inc., at 239-337-1071, 877-496-1076, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.