Collier County considers widening Wilson Boulevard; public meeting Wednesday night

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Sign advertises the public meeting on the Wilson Boulevard extension. Credit: WINK News

Collier County is considering widening several roads, including Wilson Boulevard. On Wednesday night, county leaders will discuss doubling the boulevard’s lanes from Golden Gate Boulevard to Immokalee Road, taking it from a two-lane roadway to a four-way one with a curb and gutter.

Drivers say this corridor can get a little hairy in the mornings and late afternoons. It may not seem like much in the off hours, but drivers tell WINK News that if there’s a crash, construction, or even just a school bus on the road, things can get congested quickly. They also say it doesn’t feel very safe when people are working on the power lines on the side of the road.

All those reasons have Collier County planning a study to determine how wide the street should be and what features it should have, evaluating how to improve mobility, enhance safety and accommodate future traffic, all while making minimal impact on the community and natural environment around it. Proposed improvements could also include adding sidewalks, a shared-use path and bike lanes, as well as improvements to bus stops. With the Vanderbilt Beach Road extension project coming up, this stretch of Wilson Boulevard will serve as an additional north-south corridor people can use to move around the Golden Gate Estates.

“The end goal is obviously to relieve congestion and traffic, to give people—residents—evacuation routes, different options for where they want to travel,” said Lorraine Lantz, principal planner with the Collier County Transportation Planning Section. “And to be able to travel it with a degree of certainty as to time, because if something happens, if there’s an accident there, it might be constrained, and they might not be able to to use the facility. So this is to give more options.”

Collier County drivers WINK News asked about this idea say any changes could only improve the traffic.

“That would be wonderful,” said Diana Renjifo. “A lot of traffic all day long, especially in the afternoon.”

“Honestly, for safety reasons, I think that’d be a great idea,” said Isaac Zapata. “For example, for car stops on the side. That gives more people more room to, you know, make ease of the road without having the risk of accident.”

Anyone who wishes to provide feedback for the study can attend a public meeting Wednesday night at 5 p.m. in the UF/IFAS Collier Extension Building at 14700 Immokalee Road. You can also provide comments on the county website.

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