Based on feedback from the community and input from the town council, Town Manager Roger Hernstadt will be firing off a letter to the Florida Department of Transportation with the council’s concerns about the Matanzas Pass Bridge project. Here are those concerns.
The first concern is the number of crosswalks. From the Public Safety committee to local residents to the town council there is no support for the number of crosswalks the state has incorporated into the project. It’s clear that a big reason traffic moves at a snail’s pace is because pedestrians are crossing everywhere.
The town also wants the state to seriously consider guardrails on the sidewalks to channel pedestrians to one cross-point. If the state will not consider building a walk-over, which seems to be completely out of the question, the town wants the state to funnel people to one area where they would cross Estero Boulevard.
Another big concern is changing the alternating light at Prescott and Buttonwood as vehicles jockey for position to approach the bridge. As the project stands now, that light will be changed from an alternating light to a regular light. The state plans to widen the approach to the bridge to two lanes, eliminating the need for the alternating light. The council believes even with two lanes the alternating light will keep the road rage incidents to a minimum.
The town council also wants the state to reconsider removing the guardrail in front of the ice cream shop at the base of the bridge. Why? Because that building has been visited several times by vehicles unable to make the turn for whatever reason, causing damage to the building, and potentially hitting pedestrians.
This entire project, funded by the state, is estimated to cost $8 million.
Residents and concerned citizens can send comments on the project to the state through February 17th by contacting the FDOT Project Manager Richard Oujevolk by e-mail at
Richard.Oujevolk@dot.state.fl.us or by calling him at (863) 519-2293.