Collier County to widen Vanderbilt Beach Road

Reporter: Taylor Smith
Published: Updated:
The county wants to use a grassy median to widen Vanderbilt Beach Road. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Part of Vanderbilt Beach Road will soon get a facelift, making it easier for everyone including bikers, pedestrians and drivers to use the stretch between US-41, east toward Pulling Road North.

The county wants to use a grassy median to make an extra lane on both sides of the road. Construction on the road is slated to begin in late 2022.

But first, the county is having a meeting to get the public’s opinion on the 2-mile widening project. The meeting is being held at the Saint Katherine Orthodox Church and will run until 7:30 p.m.

While it may help congestion along the roadways some worry about too much construction.

“It’s horrible,” said Collier County resident Sally West. “It’s too congested.”

West said too many people have moved to the area.

“The roads and infrastructure need to change,” she said.

That change will come soon in the form of expanding Vanderbilt Beach Road.

“I don’t mind development; I know cities need it,” said Ron Trujillo, also of Collier County. “The right thing to do is definetly get public input and especially if it affects a lot of people.”

The road will go from four lanes to six starting at Vanderbilt Beach and US-41 and ending just before Airport Pulling Road. The widening of the road will also improve intersections, storm drains and access for emergency vehicles. The work will also add bike lanes.

While many people like West look forward to the expansion, the controversy over One Naples project, a resort-style residential community has not been forgotten.

“I think it’s going to be a really big mess,” said Kristy Malloy, who owns a boutique at the Pavillion Plaza.

Malloy’s business is sandwiched between construction on both sides.

“If they start blocking off roadways you can’t get in the plaza or out of the plaza and then add season on top of that,” Malloy said. “It’s not going to be great.”

People living in the area agree two projects under construction at once could be too much.

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