After a few people started questioning the cost estimates Lee County was putting out for replacing the Big Carlos Pass Bridge, we reached out to the county to get more detail on the cost Here’s what we found out.
The county’s consultant team for the new bridge, Kissinger Campo & Associates, put together the following estimates which led to the county voting 4-1 to build a new 60-foot bridge
– The initial capital investment to keep the 24-foot drawbridge in place now, and rehab it, is $29,374,000. Maintenance and operations cost is $10,846,000. This is for the life of the bridge which is only 20 years, when the bridge would need to be replaced anyway.
– The initial capital investment of the 60-foot fixed bridge is $49,625,000 and the maintenance and operations is $38,157,000. This is for the life of the bridge which is 75 years.
– At some point, before the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted for the 60-foot bridge in late 2018, a 24-foot replacement drawbridge was being considered. The cost of the replacement drawbridge was estimated to be $60.5 million, with maintenance and operations for 75 years was $106,991,000.
The new 60-foot bridge will include two 12-foot travel lanes, seven-foot bike lanes, a 10-foot shared use path on the west side and a six-foot sidewalk on the east side. The bridge would be constructed to the west, or Gulf side, of the existing bridge.
About 4 million people cross over the bridge every year. The higher bridge will make boat evacuations easier and take less of a beating from the brutal waters of the Gulf.
Lee County representatives have confirmed that while a fishing pier is still on the table, there is no funding available at this time to pay for it.
You have until February 11th to submit comments on the project:
Send them to:
Tom Marquardt, Public Works Programs Manager
Lee County Department of Transportation
1500 Monroe Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901