Lee County plans $185M renovation to decades-old bridge

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Cape Coral Bridge
Cape Coral bridge renovations to reduce traffic. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Lee County plans to spend $185 million to renovate the Cape Coral Bridge.

Potential intersection improvements, a barrier separating the street and a u-turn are all on the table for Lee County commissioners. The design phase is just beginning, and the goal is to make it easier for people to go over that bridge.

Bernie Novak, who moved to Cape Coral 15 years ago, says he knows how time has changed things.

“Our rush hour before wasn’t really a rush hour,” Novak said. “It was, ‘Eh, okay.’ Now, it’s actually a rush hour.”

That’s because more people are moving here and more people are crossing the Caloosahatchee to get to and from work.

“As Cape Coral grows, there will be more population crossing the bridge for transportation for work or for environmental reasons,” said Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass. “We want to make sure we provide ample opportunity for people to cross on the bridge, nice even flow.”

Changes will include widening the eastbound bridge and replacing the westbound bridge, built 58 years ago, which is well over its design life of 50 years. The county is also talking about adding lanes to the intersection of Del Prado Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway to alleviate the backups that form there during rush hour.

The hope is that Cape Coral residents like Debby Renza will have an easier time getting around.

“During rush hour, if you have to get to the airport or anything important, it can be backed up all the way to Skyline,” Renza said.

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