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Estero Boulevard is a failure in progress

June 12, 2019
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

We've come to a point once again when I just have to speak out and express the absurdities of this $30 or $51 million fiasco called reFRESH Estero Boulevard. After four years there is one mile completed and four miles of destruction, ugly orange barriers and a pavement that damages tires and human beings. Incidentally, that first mile is in need of repair. The center brick/pavers are cracked and will have to be replaced again. A friend took photos sitting in traffic and the center mess is broken. Traveling north is just distressing to no longer see the beauty of our island. Traveling south is a horrible experience that is painful to have your body jarred and thrown side to side while your speed is 18 miles an hour. Neighbors are seeking weekly chiropractor adjustments and/or going to physical therapy for damage to their spines and necks and lower backs. I have what I refer to as my "Island Car". It has less than 8,000 miles on it. The dealership is recommending tire replacement. The tires came with a 72-month warranty that they are refusing to honor. Their assertion is I have been driving on pavement that is substandard and composed of detrimental components. The damage done to my tires in the three years I've owned the car has the experts amazed. Where was I driving? The vast majority of those miles have been on Estero Boulevard.

I'm writing this because we residents are in trouble. The mess is projected to be completed in an unknown number of YEARS. The pain I personally have riding south five miles from the bridge to my home at sometimes brings me to tears. I have four appointments coming up soon and they all require my doing this torturous drive. The contractor doesn't even have the decency to put another temporary cheap layer of asphalt over the south lane. An investigative reporter for the Naples Daily News wrote an article alleging that the contractor given the project was not the first and most qualified, but actually scored fifth. She wrote that there appeared to be a friendship factored into the decision. You can call it incompetence or a disaster or a debacle or use any term that means we island residents are suffering aesthetically, emotionally, physically and financially for a failed government and bureaucracy and construction corporations. (See article below.)

I haven't even mentioned the John Deere machine six feet from my front porch part of an unneeded stormwater blunder. That's another $25 million dollar failure.

God bless Fort Myers Beach and God help us.

Georgia Shakti-Hill

Fort Myers Beach



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