Construction road map has 15 projects set to start in the next 5 years

Saturday, July 6, 2002

By LARRY HANNAN, ljhannan@naplesnews.com

Get ready for more road construction in Collier County.

An updated five-year road construction plan, which the Collier County Commission approved recently, calls for 15 major projects to begin in the next five years.

The total cost of all construction in Collier County over the next five years is expected to be about $479 million. That dollar figure includes road projects that aren't undergoing construction in the next five years but are going through other phases, such as design and right-of-way acquisition that are required before construction begins.

County officials plan to complete construction of Livingston Road as a six-lane highway from Radio Road in East Naples to the Lee County line and also will widen portions of Immokalee Road, Golden Gate Parkway, Goodlette-Frank and Vanderbilt Beach roads and Santa Barbara and Collier boulevards.

The five-year schedule means that multiple road projects will always be going on during the next five years. In the summer of 2004, there would be 10 projects occurring simultaneously.

Donald Scott, Collier County director of transportation planning, said the five-year plan is an ambitious effort to improve Collier roadways.

"There will be some overlap in projects, and that's something we will not be able to avoid," Scott said. "These are projects that need to be done."

Collier County didn't build a road from 1997 to 2000. The county then began an expedited road schedule in an attempt to catch up to the growth that had occurred in Southwest Florida.

Collier County Transportation Coordinator Norman Feder has said the county needs to do several road construction projects at the same time because it is the only way to catch up with the growth that has occurred.

Three of the road projects have already begun:

n Golden Gate Boulevard is being widened to four lanes from Collier Boulevard to Wilson Boulevard. Construction is expected to be finished within the next two months.

n Livingston Road is being constructed as a six-lane road from Golden Gate Parkway to Pine Ridge Road. Work will end in early 2003.

n Livingston Road is being widened from two to six lanes from Immokalee Road to the Lee County line. Work will be finished near the end of 2003.

The Livingston Road project is being constructed in four separate phases, with each phrase viewed as a different construction project.

Scott said Livingston Road is probably the most important project within Collier County. Livingston Road will be the third major north-south road that connects the Naples area with Lee County. The others are U.S. 41 and Interstate 75.

Livingston Road is expected to ease congestion on the other two north-south roads, as well as on Airport-Pulling Road and Collier Boulevard.

By the end of 2002, the county will have four more projects under construction.

Livingston Road construction from Pine Ridge Road to Immokalee Road will begin late in 2002 and be done by the end of 2004.

Goodlette-Frank Road will be widened to four lanes from Pine Ridge Road to Vanderbilt Beach Road from late 2002 to late 2004.

Immokalee Road will be widened from two to four lanes from Collier Boulevard to 43rd Avenue North starting in late 2002. This project will continue until the end of 2006.

The project will have two portions, with the first portion being Wilson Boulevard to 43rd Avenue. The second portion will be Wilson to Collier Boulevard.

Improvements also will be made to the Interstate 75 interchange at Immokalee Road, adding more turn lanes onto and off the interstate ramps.

That project will begin this fall and will be completed by spring 2003.

Other projects in the five-year work program include:

n A six-lane overpass on Golden Gate Parkway that will go over Airport-Pulling Road from Livingston Road to Bears Paw Country Club. Construction will begin in early 2004 and conclude in early 2006.

n Golden Gate Parkway will be widened to six lanes from Livingston Road to 66th St. S.W. and from 60th St. S.W. to Santa Barbara Boulevard. Construction begins in spring of 2003 and concludes in spring 2004.

n Vanderbilt Beach Road will be widened to six lanes from Airport-Pulling Road to Logan Boulevard and widened to four lanes from Logan to Collier Boulevard. This project will begin in the fall of 2003 and end in fall 2006.

n Santa Barbara Boulevard will be widened to six lanes from Davis Boulevard to Pine Ridge Road from early 2004 until early 2007.

n Immokalee Road will be widened to six lanes from U.S. 41 to I-75 beginning in the fall of 2003 and ending in early 2006.

n County Barn Road will be widened to four lanes from Davis Boulevard to Rattlesnake Hammock Road starting in early 2004 and concluding in early 2006.

n Rattlesnake Hammock Road will be widened to four lanes from Polly Avenue to Collier Boulevard from late 2003 until late 2004.

n Collier Boulevard will be widened to four lanes from Golden Gate Boulevard to Immokalee Road from late 2003 until late 2004.

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