Road woes: U.S. 41 widening through Estero will continue through mid-2013

U.S. 41 widening through Estero will continue through mid-2013

Greg Kahn/Staff 
 Traffic picks up as northbound lanes are narrowed along U.S. 41 while construction crews continue to work on widening U.S. 41 in Estero on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012.

Photo by GREG KAHN, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Greg Kahn/Staff Traffic picks up as northbound lanes are narrowed along U.S. 41 while construction crews continue to work on widening U.S. 41 in Estero on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012.

— 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.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 10

Geees writes:

Well of course Debbie Tower with the Florida Department of Transportation has such an optimistic attitude, she doesn't drive that stretch of highway 'cause she lives in Tallahassee!?!
On an upbeat note, they did start paving the Broadway intersection today.

cozyboy writes:

Only in SW Florida where a 3 mile stretch can take 3 years .Yeah I know there is a bridge but it's still crazy. But just think when it's all done we'll all be able to get to that new Walmart on 41 and estero pkwy. And that must be worth it right?

philherup writes:

What is crazy is that they let the contractor close the road down to 1 lane in each direction during daytime hours. when they started working on the project they worked nights, that should have been a stipulation that any closures occur at night, bunch of rocket scientists there at DOT.

HAP writes:

They should start fining the contractor every day, maybe they'll work faster. And why wasn't a time frame included in their contract?! Debbie Tower lives here, btw.

beneyw writes:

For the most part, construction in FL can oocur 365 days a year but heck no, this is like watching paint dry. In northern areas they finish roads by working day AND night but here you can go by a construction site and see no one working.This is so typical so any comments from DOT, please, save them for your staff meetings where someone cares.

theabyss writes:

Remember the 8 years it took for Immokolee Road and boy what a major difference that has made, traffic is almost non existent because of the widening.... ROTFLMAO... maybe one day people will realize it is the driver habits not the number of lanes...

Raminar_Dixon writes:

What was the initial due date? Has it changed? I hope they're not using the same company that widened 41 north of Bonita Bch.rd.. The Golden Gate bridge was built faster than the Imperial River bridge!

Niki_6 writes:

I think we need to start writing old fashioned letters to Debbie at DOT demanding that rules be in place and enforced when giving road contractors work, which stipulates work 5 days a week and includes evenings. I've driven past many "widening" projects with NO activity on them. No wonder it takes so dang long. Greed and laziness. This is BS. It's our tax dollars. I want it done correctly and quickly!

bonlyjonly writes:

Thats how long it takes 6 men to build a 2 miles stretch of road, we all know there should be 500 people working on it, to get in done in a couple months but then where would the initial 6 work???????? DOT = MORON! Its hard to accept the ignorant poeple the state employs!!! the bossman with the road contract , now thats a smart sob!!!!

JohnDoeNJ writes:

There is no reason this should take another year and a half.

What State agency enters into a contract without specifying a time period giving incentives for a shorter timespan and penalties for a longer one?

Our tax dollars, hard at work.

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