Some neighbors who live along a busy roadway where a project is planned to alleviate traffic are worried the final product could actually be worse than the current situation.
Lee County Department of Transportation hopes to ease north and south traffic with its Three Oaks Parkway extension project slated to get underway in a matter of months. But some are still worried about the project completion’s impacts.
The county is extending Three Oaks to Fiddlesticks Boulevard at Daniels Parkway. Although the project is meant to ease traffic by giving drivers another north-south option beyond US-41 and I-75, some living off Fiddlesticks fear the project could add more negatives than positives.
More than 270 people showed up to Monday’s public meeting, where county officials explained the expansion project and listened to concerns.
“Just to get out to Daniels and to get here, it took us like 40, 45 minutes,” said Anna Incledon, who lives off Fiddlesticks. “And it’s just right around the corner.”
People living off Fiddlesticks Blvd. already deal with heavy traffic. The project aims to alleviate that by creating a four-lane, divided highway along with bike lanes and sidewalks. It’ll also widen Daniels Pkwy.
But Incledon worries more lanes means more danger.
“I’m a little freaked out because, a couple of months ago, I was hit out here going across,” Incledon said. “You know, I got T-boned. And, so, it’s definitely a safety issue.”
Others worry the divided highway will turn a quick trip to the grocery store into a major hassle. Noise is also something people along Fiddlesticks Blvd. brought up. They say they already hear traffic from I-75.
“That in itself generates noise,” said David Smith, who lives off Fiddlesticks. “This is going to be another roadway, four lanes, right next to it. So that’s going to increase the noise. And there’s the construction period, which is not just going to be three months.”
The county maintains the Three Oaks expansion project will make the intersection more efficient for drivers using the extension. The county also plans on adding a connection between Fiddlesticks and Three Oaks that it says will provide access to local residents and shopping.
The construction is scheduled to be completed by 2026.