For just shy of one year now, the Yellowbird Street rebuild project on Marco Island has been underway. That project entailed complete removal of the old roadbed, as well as upgrades to all of the city utility lines in the ground, including coating of all of the small utility lines.
Traffic has been rerouted, with the exception of local traffic, during the rebuild to help ensure a safe work area, causing some to complain about the almost 12 months of work required to complete the project.
“I’m not sure people understand the extent of the work being accomplished. No other roadway on the island, with the exception of Collier Boulevard, has had such extensive work done on it,” said Mike Daniels, Construction Manager for the Marco Island Public Works Department.
The complete “force main” for sewer was replaced and the entire run of gravity sewer lines was internally coated, reinforcing those pipes. Water utility lines also were replaced and the stormwater system along the roadway was upgraded to provide relief during heavy rain events to deal with street flooding. Sidewalks along the south side of the roadway were replaced and widened to a 5-foot width.
During the rebuild of the roadway, a seven-inch lime-rock base was laid in, compacted and graded. Then a total of seven and a half inches of new asphalt was applied during three separate applications. Temporary striping has been applied as the top asphalt coat is allowed to cure over approximately 2 weeks.
After the contracts had been finalized, one last addition was made. This addition included a traffic dampening device, also referred to as a “roundabout.” The roundabout was promoted by former City Councilor Larry Honig, increasing the $4 million plus project by just over $120,000.
Residents along the roadway had complained to City Council over the years of excessive speed on the heavily-used roadway by both cars and heavy trucks. The placement of the roundabout has drawn some criticism, with doubts raised that it may have little effect due to its location.
City officials gathered on June 7 for an official ribbon cutting to mark the reopening of Yellowbird Street with contractors and residents watching.