ESTERO — Thousands of motorists who drive along U.S. 41 in Estero daily can expect construction to continue through summer 2013.
A $14.2 million road widening project to six lanes from Corkscrew Road, north to San Carlos Park, began in January 2011 and has made the two-mile stretch challenging for travelers and business owners.
Pawradise owner Karine Belisle said traffic was so bad she made a big decision.
"I moved over the weekend because of it," she said. "Last week a customer was in an accident as she tried pulling into my driveway."
While Belisle moved her business south of Corkscrew Road, owners of Estero River Outfitters said they've never really had any issues with construction.
"We hear 'this must be killing your business' all day long" said Justin Stuller, son of owner Paula Stuller. "So it can't be that bad if I'm hearing it 100 times a day."
The northbound inside lane and southbound inside lane from San Carlos to Estero Parkway are closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., weather permitting.
"During this project, driving times may be longer than usual," said Debbie Tower with the Florida Department of Transportation. "We'll get through the work and the benefit to everyone is a safe project that delivers six lanes to the community."
Tower also asked that drivers be safety partners for the construction crew, who work in proximity to traffic. She urged motorists to use caution when traveling through the work zone.
However, the Estero Fire District has not seen its response time affected because of construction.
"We still receive regular updates from the contractor and we have not any problems at all," said Susan Lindenmuth, public relations manager for Estero Fire Rescue.
The road construction in Estero is the final widening of U.S. 41 to six lanes from the Caloosahatchee River Bridge in Fort Myers to Collier Boulevard east of Naples.