An important section of the City of Marco Island’s bike pathways master plan is currently underway on San Marco Road. This latest section of the San Marco shared-use path will connect with the existing shared-use path at Barfield Drive and will end—for now—at the eastern border of Marco Island Academy.
“This pathway is an important link in our Safe Routes to School network,” said Al Musico, Chairman of the city’s Bike Pathways Committee. “It links the Marco Island Academy to the rest of the Marco Island bicycle network.”
When this section is complete, the entire 3.6 mile stretch of San Marco Road from the Residents’ Beach to Marco Island Academy will be integrated with the island’s shared-use paths along Barfield Drive, Winterberry Drive, Collier Blvd., Bald Eagle Drive, S. Heathwood Drive, Tigertail Court, Hernando Drive, along with the Safe Routes to School network surrounding Tommie Barfield Elementary and Marco Island Charter Middle School.
Shared-use paths are also known as wide sidewalks or pathways. They are designed to be shared by cyclists and pedestrians. The island also has an impressive network of in-road lanes that crisscross the island.
“This project will construct an 8-foot wide concrete sidewalk on the north side of San Marco Road from South Barfield Drive to 400 feet east of Vintage Bay Drive,” stated Tim Pinter, the city’s Public Works Director. Pinter said there may be some short 6-foot wide segments to accommodate existing driveway or utility conflicts.
“The entire length of this project is 1.4 miles,” Pinter added. “Included will be a new flashing crossing and crosswalk at the Marco Island Academy property.”
The project started on June 15th and is scheduled to conclude on October 13th.
More exciting news for cyclists and pedestrians is that construction of the final section of the San Marco shared-use path is already planned.
“Next year,” Musico said, “we will begin Phase II of this project which will extend the route to connect to the existing pathway going into Goodland.”
Funds for the final 1.1-mile section of the San Marco shared-use path, from Marco Island Academy to Goodland Drive, will be available July 1st.
Pinter notified affected homeowners by letter that portions of the swale in front of homes along San Marco Road are included in the project. Important marker flags have been placed in various locations and cannot be removed until the project is completed. Homeowners were also informed that the city is not responsible for damage to private irrigation lines placed within the public right-of-way. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to mark private irrigation lines located within the city right-of-way.
The city’s 2020 Marco Island Bicycle Paths map is available as a PDF at www.cityofmarcoisland.com/sites/default/files/fileattachments/bike_paths_volunteer_committee/page/1511/marco_island_bicycle_paths_-_2020.pdf.