FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – On Tuesday, county commissioners agreed with business owners who insisted last week that construction on the beach needed to be completed at night.
Business owners had grown increasingly frustrated with the impact of daytime construction on their profits. Crews have been working to improve drains, utilities and to add sidewalks and a trolley lane since last summer in a project that could last another 10 years.
At a Feb. 9 town hall meeting, business owners aired their frustrations. The construction has slowed traffic and discouraged visitors, business owners said. They wanted work on the roads to be completed at night.
It appears county commissioners took their concerns into serious consideration, business owners said Tuesday. Now construction crews will reschedule paving jobs to evenings. Their work will be done in six one-mile segments.
“I can’t believe it. I’m so excited. Us small business owners, we now have a voice,” said the owner of Sea Gypsy Inn, Scott Safford.
Safford said his profits are down 50 percent but he hopes the projects will end soon.
“The county commissioner and the mayor were nice enough to meet us last week and I am just thrilled they are actually doing something,” he said. “It’s not going to be everything but it’s a great start in the right direction.”
The town is also expected to consider a change to the noise ordinance that would get garbage trucks off the roads by 7 a.m. By allowing trash pickup to begin at 4 a.m.
Business owners, like Adam Clark of The Doghouse, are hopeful that these efforts will alleviate traffic congestion.
“And they should be able to get a lot done faster because they don’t have to work around people on the sidewalks and people on the roads, so it seems like a good plan to me,” Clark said.