Plans to more than double the size of the Big Carlos Bridge between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs has some concerned, but City of Bonita Springs believes the doing so would be a better option then simply repairing it.
The Alternative evaluation matrix shows that if the bridge were to just be repaired, the cost would be $40,222,000, but a a new bridge would be required once the 20 year expiration on the repairs comes to an end. The cost of a new bridge after the 20 years would be $183M, if it were a 60-foot fixed bridge, or $276M if it were a 24-foot drawbridge.
If the bridge was rebuilt now with a 24-foot drawbridge, with a new life span of 75 years, in total it would cost $167,603,000.
If the bridge was rebuilt with a 60-foot fixed bridge gulf and bay alignment, it would cost a total of $87,771,000, and would also have a new life span of 75 years.
The horizontal navigation clearance to the 25-foot bridges would be 50-feet, and the clearance to the 60-foot fixed bridge would be 90-feet.
The plan for the bridge will be discussed Wednesday, Dec. 5 at a Bonita Springs City Council meeting and will be voted on by Lee County Commissioners Dec. 18.
To view the whole slide show of the Big Carlos Bridge Project Development and Environment Study view the webpage here.