Friday, March 23, 2018

State Scheduling 951 Improvements

An ecstatic Commissioner Fiala brings news of the paving project for 951. Photos by Steve Stefanides

An ecstatic Commissioner Fiala brings news of the paving project for 951. Photos by Steve Stefanides

For Marco Islanders and those that live along State Route 951 from the Jolley Bridge out to I-75 the news that Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala brought during her 2018 Town Hall Meeting may have been music to their ears and a relief to the suspensions of their cars.

It seems that the State of Florida Department of Transportation is moving forward on plans to repave the roller coaster ride between the Jolley Bridge and the Fiddlers Creek intersection. In addition to the repaving of that troubled section of roadway, the following additional improvements will be made:

County Manager Leo Ochs explains the county budget.

County Manager Leo Ochs explains the county budget.

Six-foot bike lanes will be installed along the roadway.

The signalization mast arms will be upgraded at the Isles of Capri intersection.

Bus pads will be installed at the existing bus stops.

Intersection lighting will be upgraded to meet new standards.

All of this work will be done during the 2018/19 Fiscal Year Budgets and will cost approximately $7,000,000 to complete. I-75 / 951 Interchange Improvements

I-75 at SR 951 Interchange improvements planned.

I-75 at SR 951 Interchange improvements planned.

The pressures of growth along the SR 951 Corridor has required that the state improve the traffic patterns at the interchange with I-75.

When completed, northbound traffic will now not have to make the left hand turn to proceed northbound on I-75, but will be able to access I-75 via a right hand on-ramp which will allow a uninterrupted flow of the traffic northbound, providing for much smoother traffic pattern.

The project development phase and the environmental studies have all been completed and the State DOT is moving into the design and construction phase of the project.

The acquisition of the ROW (Right of Way) requirements is estimated at $9,000,000 and is presently ongoing. The design and construction phase which is scheduled for the FY 2020/21 budget cycle has a price tag of $92,000,000. General Fund Operating Budget Rises

Commissioner Fiala brought with her a number of department heads for the county, including County Manager Leo Ochs, Jr. to discuss various segments of the county budget and services to county residents.

The General Fund Budget will rise by 7.3% from that of 2017 to $413,952,300.

The county is looking at a 1% increase in the general sales tax to fund a number of projects, a majority of those to be found in Golden Gate Estates. That increase would raise the present tax to 7%.

$74,000,000 of the estimated $420,000,000 to be raised would go to extending Vanderbilt Beach Road to 8th Street or 16th Street in the Estates.

Voters throughout Collier County will be able to give a thumbs up or down during the November 2018 election, as the increase will be presented as a referendum question on the ballot.

It is unclear what monies would be returned to Marco Island, but it is clear that the majority of those increased funds will go to failing infrastructure such as roads, bridges and parks within the unincorporated areas of Collier County.

One response to “State Scheduling 951 Improvements”

  1. Mike Sweeney says:

    I welcome the fact that the county and state see the problems at Collier & I-75 but I think a fly over from north on Collier to north I-75 would be much better and eliminate the need for two cloverleafs.

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