Crews are working to fix Goodland Drive from flooding. The roadway is the only one leading to Goodland, a small community east of Marco Island.
Business owners are worried the construction will keep customers away but everyone agrees the work needs to be completed.
Goodland is a small community with just four restaurants, a boutique, and a handful of year-round residents.
They’ve all experienced flooding on Goodland Drive and have waited for this project for years.
Now that it’s here, it’s a big relief. The roadway flooded in 2012 and 2016.
“It’s terrible,” said Tara O’Neill, owner of an art studio. “There’s at least three months of the year with the king tides where most of this road is underwater.”
Her art studio sits right on Goodland Drive. She grew up in the area and has seen the flooding for what seems like forever.
O’Neill said she worries emergency vehicles can’t get through the floodwater and tourists get stranded.
“We count,” O’Neill said. “We’re here. We work hard. We pay taxes. Fix our roads.”
Collier County is prepping for their Goodland Drive Rehabilitation Project. Work will soon begin on raising the road to hopefully avoid the floods. It is expected to last nine months and cost about $3 million.
“I’m sure it’s going to help; I think everybody that has a restaurant out here is for it,” said Jim Paradise, owner of Paradise Found.
Paradise said he hopes he doesn’t have to worry about floods year after year once the roadwork is complete.
Not all business owners are happy. Several told WINK News off-camera they were worried the construction will drag into next season, causing tourists not to visit because of the construction.