In December, BWL was made aware of serious safety concerns for cyclists riding on Estero Blvd. in Fort Myers Beach during the ongoing construction project, with numerous crashes being reported. We issued a blog post in December about our concerns: BWL blog Dec. 22, 2016: Warning to Cyclists: Don't bike on Fort Myers Beach until the Estero Blvd. Improvement project is completed.
We have also been working with LeeDOT to address the problems identified by cyclists. Below is the press release that LeeDOT put out Jan. 9th (just received) that urges caution in the construction zone.
We continue to hear from cyclists about how dangerous it is to bike out there, including Fort Myers Beach residents.
BikeWalkLee continues to be very concerned about cyclist safety during this construction project. If you do choose to bike out there, please report any problems you encounter to Kaye Molnar:
Below the press release is this week's project update. If you want to sign up to receive these weekly updates, you can sign up at http://www.refreshfmbeach.com/. Just click on the "Contact Us" button to fill out the form, be sure to select the “Please add me…” button at the bottom of the page.
Estero Boulevard Improvements Project
Reminder to use caution in construction zone
Contact: Kaye Molnar, Project Public Information Officer
Cella Molnar and Associates, Inc.
Fort Myers Beach, FL, Jan. 9, 2017 – As cooler temperatures and sunny days prompt outdoor activities such as bicycling, walking and running, many enthusiasts are heading to Fort Myers Beach. The Lee County Department of Transportation reminds bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists that construction continues on Estero Boulevard from Lani Kai Resort to Publix, and caution should be used when traveling through the construction zone.
One of the two major goals of the Estero Boulevard Improvements Project is to improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. The second goal is to improve the storm drainage on Estero Boulevard. During construction bicyclists should obey traffic laws and ride for the travel conditions. In some cases, bicyclists may feel safer walking through the construction zone. Pedestrians should be aware of bicyclists and motorists around them. Motorists should watch for pedestrians and bicyclists on roadsides, side streets, and boulevard crossings.
Crews monitor and sweep the work zone routinely to make bicycle and pedestrian travel as safe as possible during construction; however, Estero Boulevard is an active, ever-changing construction zone. Conditions change daily, hourly and minute-to-minute. Bicyclists and pedestrians may experience changes in roadway surfaces and elevations, steel plates and loose gravel.
Once construction of Estero Boulevard is complete, most of the boulevard will provide travel lanes with designated bike lanes and wide sidewalks on both sides. Bicyclists will share the travel lanes from Crescent Street to Lovers Lane due to the limited right-of-way. In the meantime, all travelers may need to change their habits during construction, and all need to stay aware and use caution. The end result of this much-needed, very challenging project will be a boulevard that provides improved stormwater drainage and treatment and an improved roadway design for motorist, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Details about the Estero Boulevard Improvement Project are available online at www.reFRESHFMBeach.com or by calling (239) 337-1071.
Estero Boulevard Improvements: February 1, 2017 Bulletin
Traffic shift scheduled Monday night (2/6)
North of Chapel Street to south of Lovers Lane
Beginning Monday night 2/6, crews will start shifting traffic to the outside lanes of Estero Boulevard to begin construction in the center turn lane from north of Chapel Street to south of Lovers Lane. During this work, barrier wall or construction barrels will be necessary on both sides of the center lane due to a 1 to 1 ½-foot difference in elevation between travel lanes and the work zone.
Vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to cross Estero Boulevard (from north of Chapel Street to south of Lovers Lane) at the following locations.
· Fort Myers Beach Town Hall
· Tropical Shores Way
· School Street
· Bay Road