The Lee County Department of Transportation is hosting a public hearing on January 28th from 5p.m to 7p.m. at Bay Oaks about the plan to replace the 24-foot Big Carlos Pass Bridge on Estero Boulevard with a new 60-foot fixed bridge. The hearing will also be accessible online.
On Dec. 18, 2018, the Lee Board of County Commissioners approved (by a 4-1 vote) the fixed-span bridge on the Gulf side of the existing bridge as the preferred build alternative to move forward in the PD&E Study. The one no vote was the late Larry Kiker.
The plan is for Lee County to replace the 24-foot bridge, which is now 55 years old, with a new 60-foot fixed bridge. The County said to place the current 24-foot-high drawbridge with another 24-footer would cost about $60.7 million. A 60-foot fixed bridge would cost $12 million less — $48.1. Maintenance costs are also lower for the higher fixed bridge. Fort Myers Beach Ray Murphy has been vocal about the locals not losing their fishing pier if the bridge is replaced.
Lee County DOT will present the preferred build alternative and the no-build rehabilitation alternative at the public hearing. FDOT requirements include showing the no-build rehabilitation alternative at the hearing and throughout the remainder of the PD&E study.
Project information and graphics showing the proposed improvements will be available for public viewing at two locations from Jan. 5 until Feb. 18, 2021. One location will be the Fort Myers Beach Public Library at 2755 Estero Blvd. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; closed on Sunday. The second location will be the Lee County DOT office located at 1500 Monroe St., third floor, Fort Myers, Florida 33901. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Draft project documents are also available on the website, www.BigCarlosBridgeProject.com.
Here’s how to access the hearing online:
Date: Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021
Time: 5 to 7 p.m., with a formal presentation at 6 p.m.
Location: Virtual: GoToWebinar: Register at www.BigCarlosBridgeProject.com