County leaders want state funds to speed up Estero Blvd. construction

Author: stephanie susskind, adam wright
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- The sight of construction equipment and cones is becoming all too familiar on Estero Boulevard.

Road improvement is being completed in six, 1-mile sections and is expected to take 10 years, but county leaders say they can get it done much faster with financial help from the state.

At Wednesday’s Lee County Legislative Delegation meeting at Florida SouthWestern State College, Commissioner Brian Hamman asked state legislators for $15 million to help expedite the construction timeline. The money would help get project segments 3-6 all done at once. County leaders say that could cut the project timeline from 10 years down to three years.

“I think it’s important to put one of our largest tourist engines back online in the state of Florida,” said Hamman.

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Anita Cerceda added, “the possibility that it could be escalated, no other words than ‘life changing.'”

“Absolutely I see the value in taking that project down from 10 years to three years, and not getting in the way of the tourism success that we’ve had there for so many years,” said Rep. Matt Caldwell.

The Florida legislative session begins in January. State legislators say they will weigh Lee County’s request against those from the other 66 counties and see if there’s room in the budget for it.

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