Construction crews are pouring cement as shared-use paths are being added to either side of Collier Boulevard from Elkcam Circle to the Jolley Bridge. The critical pathways will provide vital connections from the Jolley Bridge to existing shared-use paths on Collier Boulevard and Barfield Drive. Meanwhile, progress continues on the shared-use path on San Marco Road, from Barfield Drive to the Marco Island Academy.
“The Bike Path Committee has been working on both of these projects for some time,” said Al Musico, Chairman of the City’s Bike Path Volunteer Committee. “The applications for FDOT Grant Funding were submitted in 2013. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) funding process looks forward 5-7 years in advance of the actual construction. It is good to see them finally completed.”
Both projects are funded by FDOT grants. The price tag on the North Collier project is $589,638, while the San Marco project is $721,068.
Tim Pinter, the City’s Public Works Director, asserted that the city does not contribute to either of those figures. “Zero,” he said. “It is all grant funds from FDOT.”
Both projects are on schedule, according to Pinter. “The San Marco Road sidewalk project is scheduled to be substantially complete on October 13, 2020. The final completion, which is when all the punch list items are corrected—if any—is on schedule for November 13, 2020.”
Crews started relocating trees and light poles along the construction route on Collier Boulevard in late July. The project is scheduled to last nearly 10 months.
“The North Collier Boulevard sidewalk project is scheduled to be substantially complete on March 25, 2020,” Pinter noted. “Final completion is scheduled for May 9, 2021.”
Shared-use paths are also known as wide sidewalks or pathways. They are 8-foot wide and are designed to be shared by cyclists and pedestrians. In some areas, there may be some short 6-foot wide segments to accommodate existing driveway or utility conflicts. In-road lanes are the marked lanes on either side of the road that are designated for bicycle traffic.By law, bicyclists are permitted to use both shared-use paths and in-road lanes. Bicyclists are also permitted to ride on roads that do not have in-road bicycle lanes.
For years, the island’s bicycling network has been hampered by the absence of shared-use paths or in-road bike lanes leading onto the island from the Jolley Bridge. With shared-use paths on either side of Collier Boulevard, cyclists can now easily, and most importantly,safely, navigate their way onto the island and connect with the island’s comprehensive network of shared-use paths and in-road bike lanes.
With the completion of the Collier Boulevard project, cyclists will be able to travel from the Jolley Bridge all the way to the end of Collier Boulevard, just past Caxambas Park on the island’s southern end. The completion of the Collier Boulevard shared-use path also connects with the shared-use path on Barfield Drive.
The completion of the current phase of the San Marco shared-use path will make it possible for cyclists to ride from Marco Island Academy to the beach on a shared-use path. The final link of the San Marco shared-use path, from Marco Island Academy to Goodland Drive, will be coming soon.
“The next phase of the San Marco project is in the final stages of approval from FDOT,”stated Pinter. “Plans and specifications are complete, and we will go to bid as soon as the final acceptance is granted. Work should start in the spring of 2021.”
The Marco Island Bicycle Paths can be accessed on the city’s website atwww.cityofmarcoisland.com. Just head over to the Our Government tab, click on Bike Paths Volunteer Committee, and there you’ll find the PDF link for the 2020 Bicycle Path Map.