What is causing congestion on Colonial Blvd.?

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

Three construction projects and the arrival of snowbirds have considerably slowed traffic along Colonial Boulevard.

“I do it every day, Monday through Friday, and it’s a nightmare, and you sit at that light, through four lights, probably before you can finally get on the Six Mile. It’s terrible,” said Jennifer Chatisky, who’s lived near Colonial since she was 12.

Traffic along Colonial Blvd. (CREDIT: WINK News)

The construction near the intersection of Colonial Boulevard and Six Mile Cypress is behind schedule by 10 months. According to Florida Department of Transportation Construction Manager Marlena Gore, supply chain issues have lengthened the process.

“Our utilities have to go in first, and there was a lot of trouble trying to get the pipes and the structures for the utilities, and that was strictly accounted to because of COVID,” said Gore.

Since construction has started in 2021, the area has only gotten busier. WINK News asked FDOT how to get ahead of the growth.

“We do account for it, but not the large boom that we have in the Lee and Collier County areas,” Gore said.

Street lights are also a factor in causing congestion. While construction is underway, FDOT is controlling the lights.

They do make adjustments based on time of day/year like snowbird season, holidays and school schedules. The lights work on a dynamic system: they are on timers but cameras on some of them monitor traffic and make changes, like if there’s an crash on I-75. If this happens, they’ll manually back up track on colonial so everyone can get off the interstate. I-75 and the lights and ramps nearby are always priority.

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