Lee County ramp relieves congestion but your safety may be at risk

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:
Alico Rd. crash Monday evening. (Credit: WINK News)
Alico Rd. crash Monday evening. (Credit: WINK News)

The driver who lost control and crashed into a pond Monday evening faces charges for careless driving and not having a license. But that was not an first time we have seen a crash there, as more dangerous wrecks keep happening on the Alico Rd. Interchange in Lee County.

The scene Monday night was a frightening sight for Tod Sizemore.

“I saw the pond,” Sizemore said. “We didn’t really know what happened, but we assumed the worst. It’s definitely a scary thought.”

A truck flipped into a pond, heading onto Interstate 75 off Alico Rd. It seems all too common on the route for Sizemore and Mitch Arimura, who take it each weekday to work.

“I’ve almost crashed into people multiple times,” Arimura said, “just because people are turning in and people decide to not really pay attention to much.”

WINK News counted at least five additional major crashes on the Alico Interchange since December 2018. Many of the crashes were deadly.

Arimura recommends yield signs, people to slow down and an extra lane to the highway, so people do not have to merge at fast speeds to keep people safe.

Zachary Burch, who works with the Florida Department of Transportation, said, do not blame the roadway. Most of the crashes proved to be a driver’s fault. Burch told us that southern Lee County is booming, which means with more cars comes an increase in crashes.

“You’re going to have more traffic on that road and there’s going to be needed improvement to the interchange,” Burch said. “There’s just no doubt that it will need to be happening.”

Nothing will happen until FDOT does a study on widening the interstate. However, that takes time, along with securing funding and construction.

“Hope for the best,” Arimura said. “But need to see someone else get hurt, you know?”

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