When the town council holds its next Management & Planning meeting a discussion will be held regarding the arches. Having them reconstructed at Bay Oaks has been one of the options being discussed. The Bay Oaks committee was unanimous in saying no-go to that idea.
A group called Restore The Arches has been pitching locations to both the town and the county for a couple of years now, including: the base of the Matanzas Bridge, Bay Oaks, Lynn Hall Park, Bayside Park and several others. At one point they were close to a deal with the county to put the arches in Crescent Park. The previous town council intervened and let the county know that probably wasn’t the best spot.
By a vote of 7-0 the Bay Oaks Committee voted to oppose that the arches be recreated anywhere on Fort Myers Beach.
BORCAB Committee Vice Chair Barbara Hill said the arches never belonged on Fort Myers Beach to begin with. “It was a specific landmark much beloved by all of us. They were a landmark for San Carlos Island as an entrance to the bridge to the island, at that scale, If you change or mitigate that scale in any way it no longer becomes a recreation, it becomes an artifact but not the real thing. It was never supposed to be on Fort Myers Beach to begin with. I am opposed to putting any arches anywhere on Fort Myers Beach. Period. Let’s put an end to it.”
The arches welcomed residents and visitors to Fort Myers Beach, where the Matanzas Pass bridge now sits, from 1924-1979. When they were knocked down to construct the new bridge not all the pieces were saved. Those that were are now in storage.