It appears that residents of Goodland may at last be moving towards a permanent solution to the issue concerning “flooding” on what is the short portion of roadway connecting the small fishing village with State Route 92 (San Marco Road).
Shortly after incorporation and upon striking an agreement 3 years later with the county, the newly created City of Marco Island agreed to take over State Route 92 and the small section of State Routh 92-A that connected SR92 and the Goodland Village. The County agreed to a block grant of one million dollars a year for the next 15 years in-lieu of impact fees and other revenues to maintain all roadways and bridges within the newly incorporated city, including SR92 and 92-A. It was late Councilman Glenn Tucker who negotiated that arrangement to ensure Marco Island received those needed funds.
Councilors on Marco saw it as a positive move to invest in what they saw were badly neglected maintenance issues regarding Marco Roads, which until this time had seen little care under the county and Goodland residents saw it as a possible remedy to the need to care for a badly deteriorated SR92-A and remedy the flood issues.
By 2004-2005 and under continued pressure by Goodland residents, the Marco Public Works Department embarked upon a design project to address SR92-A. Those plans, although only 30-40% complete, would be opposed by the Conservancy, one of the signatories of the Deltona Settlement Agreement. Those plans would then sit in limbo.
Any work to be completed in these ecologically sensitive areas would have to be signed off by all parties to the agreement. Those plans would have seen the roadway raised and the subsequent installation of culverts that would have assisted in the movement of waters under that 92-A roadway. The raising of the elevation of the roadway would have required a widening and slopping of the road, something that the Conservancy found problematic as it may have encroached into the mangroves.
Flooding over the Goodland Road has been a major issue over the years. Since assuming the responsibility, the city had accomplished a number of repairs and enhancements such as bike paths in that area over the last several years. The conditions were not new to the road due to its low elevation and condition prior to the city taking over maintenance and the continued erosion of the road base.
In 2016, a city election saw a new majority seated on the Marco City Council. They negotiated the turning over of that section of the road back to the county. In doing so, they gave up $3 million, or the revenue which was part of the last 3 years of that original 15-year contract.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Collier County Transportation Department is in the process of finalizing the elevation and cross drainage plans which are eerily similar to the plan that the City of Marco Island had for accomplishing those same objectives, but was unfortunately blocked by the objections of the Conservancy a dozen years ago.
The County plans call for the rebuilding of the deteriorated road base, elevation of the roadway by 12-13” and the installation of large culverts to allow for the inflow and outflow of water during heavy storms and high tide events along Goodland Drive leading into the village. They will be required to raise seawalls in the area across from Stans to prevent floodwaters from flowing across Goodland Drive and into the intersection of Harbor Place North and flooding the parking lot at the popular Stan’s Idle Hour.
That work is scheduled to begin in December of this year, provided all permits are received and signoffs on the Deltona Settlement Agreement are agreed to.
Some businesses in Goodland have voiced concerns over the scheduling of the work and the lingering impacts which COVID-19 has had on small businesses, especially tourism–related business. Couple that with the plans to have only one lane of traffic going into the small business community during the height of season and many worry about the impact.
The County Transportation Department and the project managers recently met with interested residents and business leaders to discuss their plans.