Sunday, July 21, 2019

Improvements to Washboard Row on SR 951 Have Begun

COASTAL COMMENTS

A nice gentleman stopped by our table at Ciao Bella on Marco Island to say something so nice, and I just wanted to thank him for being so kind.  My girlfriend Shirlee and I were having dinner and catching up on each other’s lives.  I couldn’t wait for their famous Pork Chop, and it never disappoints. They are just wonderful!

  • Washboard Row is about to see the improvements we’ve been talking about.  They actually started on the project at the end of May, but there is always so much to do in preparation before you see the digging and trucks, etc., and now you’ll be seeing more activity.   This project won’t just be resurfacing; the scope of the work  starting from the Judge Jolley Bridge to Fiddler’s Creek will include milling, resurfacing, base work, shoulder treatment, drainage improvements, curb & gutter, sidewalk, guardrail, signing and pavement marking, signalization, and lighting on SR 951 northerly for approximately 3.031 miles, to south of Fiddler’s Creek Parkway.   This report is directly from the FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation). 
  • Another good news message from the FDOT, specifically affecting Reflection Lakes, Naples Reserve, and Imperial Wilderness, who have all spoken about the issue to me, regarding the lack of overhead street lights on U. S. 41 E between 951 & Greenway Rd., that have been needed for years, and will now finally be coming to fruition.  During the short days in the winter, it gets as black as ink in that area.  With so many people in the area, and the speed limits being so high, plus 55 and over communities along that route, these lights have been truly needed.  It’s taken a long time since the road was widened, but thankfully they are coming, not as soon as I’d like to see, but at least they are coming.  Light poles and LED lights will be placed on the north side of the street.  Preconstruction meetings are currently taking place. 
  • Well, the new Aldi’s Grocery Store has officially opened to a large crowd for this time of year, and it’s been busy every time I pass by the area!   It’s a unique shopping experience that people seem to enjoy, especially because the prices are so reasonable.  When you think about it, we have quite a selection of grocery stores in this area!  We have many Publix, which are always great, and many sizes as well, plus there is a Winn-Dixie, a Fresh Market, and an Oakes Farm.  What a great selection!   Then of course there are Wal-Mart groceries and little niche grocers specializing in Asian foods, Cuban and Spanish foods, and Haitian foods.   
  • By the way, a Wendy’s Restaurant will be coming to the corner of U. S. 41 E, located in the outparcel in front of Steinmart.  No mention of the date when construction will begin yet.
  • New businesses in Shoppes of Eagle Creek begin with the re-opening of Burger Fi, and by the way, it’s as busy as it always was, plus a Spa & Wellness Center which has opened next to The Fresh Market, and they say it’s gorgeous inside!   Lastly, Alpha Men’s Barbershop has opened in that same area, and a couple of men have said it is really a superb shop.   You might want to walk around the area and see the new “stuff”.    
  • For people who are on vacation up north right now, the King’s Lake Shopping Center has received a little facelift.  When I saw the trees coming out, I got a little nervous.  All shopping centers need trees, and if you’re anything like me, even though I’d love to park close by, I want to park in the shade during this heat or bright sun.  The only time I don’t go out of my way to find tree-shaded spots is when it is raining, or when I’m in a hurry.   I met with the shopping center owner who assured me that the trees were looking pretty shabby, so they took them out, but we’re going to replace them, as well as installing new bushes required by law but were long gone, and replace the sign at the entrance of the shopping center.  They also planned on pressure washing the fence that was turning black in spots from the mold.   They planted the hedges and palm trees (which I assured him would give us no relief from the sun and no shade) plus live oaks, which have a very poor canopy with little shade as well.  Anyway, the shopping center is looking better, as they said.  They have to abide with what the store owners want, and I understand that.  Sorry for complaining, but I’m just one of those people who look for shade.   They also adjusted the parking lot lights so they are focused on safety, not the streets.   It looks pretty good!   
  • Recently I took two tour groups in different time frames to visit the Sheriff’s Operation Center.  He gave an excellent presentation, and a few things he said I wanted to pass on to you.  He said he overheard some inmates who were being told “We told you to stay out of Collier County.  They put people in jail over there!”  The Sheriff also stated that there are “no metropolitan areas in Florida that have a lesser crime rate!”  That was music to my ears.   There was a report that wasn’t as good, which said traffic crashes were up 10%.  We have laws in place demanding we keep our eyes on the road and not your phone, but you can’t fix stupid.   Please drive carefully, with your eyes on the road!   Stay Safe.  Keep others safe!
  • Wherever you are, we hope you are enjoying your summer.  It’s so easy to drive around right now and get into restaurants and grocery stores.   Yes, it’s a little warm, but the ease of travel makes up for the heat.    And there are specials all over the place!  I actually know people who come down here for the summer!  I was surprised to hear that.  The couple I’m thinking about are Pickleball Players from Chicago.  The lady’s name is Gloria and her husband is George, and she is the true Italian homemaker!  Wonderful cook, devoted wife, positive attitude. What a delightful lady! 
  • And for those of you looking for places to rent, now is the time to look for your next place.  There are rentals all over the place, but it probably won’t be that way once season begins again.  Now is the time to find out where you want to live and rent it or buy it!   I wish we could control the rental owners who charge exorbitant rents even though the property has been paid off for many years.   Life would be so much better for everyone.   Greed is an ugly word, but it fits so often.    

Hopefully, your summer is really nice and you’re enjoying some relaxing time with family and friends.   

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