The long-awaited project regarding the repaving of what some refer to as the “longest roller coaster ride in Florida” might be finally arriving, just in time for season and the annual influx of seasonal residents and visitors to Southwest Florida and Marco Island in particular.
951, or Collier Boulevard, is the responsibility of the Florida Department of Transportation for maintenance, therefore it has to be prioritized along with several other roadways within the FDOT Southwest District. As far back as 2015, Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala has fought a valiant fight at all levels to have the roadway reconditioned and resurfaced.
Signs have been up now for over a year announcing the project and the dates have been adjusted, but minimal work has been done and the clock continues to click on what is estimated to be a five million dollar project that will smooth out the roadway, upgrade the signaling devices at Mainsail Drive and add bicycling lanes to that dangerous stretch of roadway.
The county in 2015 completed a Capacity and Intersection Improvement Project at the 951/41 intersection as well as a project that saw 951 resurfaced from Fiddlers Creek to 41. Those combined projects came in at $20 million, and the FDOT reimbursed the county for $16 million, however, no monies were available to resurface the stretch of roadway from the Fiddlers Creek intersection to the Jolly Bridge.
Recognizing that the island will see a major increase in traffic when the work is done, FDOT has earlier committed to doing the work during evening hours to limit the inconvenience to those coming and going from the island. An alternative route of State Route 92 and U.S. 41 is also suggested.
Victoria Peters, Planning Specialist and Community Liaison from the FDOT, reported to the Collier County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) at the June 10, 2019 meeting that they had received their notice to proceed on May 28, 2019. That work would include milling and resurfacing, base work, shoulder treatment, drainage improvements, curb and gutter, sidewalk, guardrail, signing and pavement marking, signalization, and lighting. Approximately 3.031 miles.
The project was bid and awarded on April 16, 2019, by the FDOT for Project 43955-1-50-01 in the amount of $4,793,303.
It has been over 7 months now since the FDOT awarded the bid for the work, yet islanders have yet to see any progress on an issue that has plagued drivers for well over 6 years now and continues to deteriorate.