By Mike Welch
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At this writing a main concern for residents and business owners is the homestead Road Reconstruction Project. Groundbreaking for the project was in March of 2017 and at this point has been going painfully slow. As Chairman of the local Chamber of Commerce I am all too aware that residents are changing their travel patterns to avoid Homestead. This has led to struggling businesses up and down the Homestead Corridor. At this point the project is about 6 months behind schedule. The Homestead Road project provides the following:
• A four lane divided roadway
• Complete repaving
• New storm water drainage substructure
• Sidewalk construction
• Installation of underground utilities
• Curbs and gutter
• Bicycle lanes in both directions
• Grassy areas
The total cost is $14,459,673. So, what are the issues for the slow progress that has led to long lines and traffic jams particularly at Homestead/Leeland Heights/Alabama in particular? After seeking answers and talking to various leaders at Lee County Government the answers are uniform.
First and foremost, the original planners and builders of Homestead over 60 years ago left poor and incomplete plans as crews today are finding cables, piping and other structures that were never noted or known. In addition, the storm water piping that you have seen on the side of the roadway is being installed to meet the needs of the 2000’s and as such the rock formation under Homestead is making it difficult to install. There are more complications but that is most of the answer in a nutshell.
I have asked County Government to be as communicative as possible with regular updates as the constructions continues along the business district. We will do our best to make sure that the County’s communications are distributed as much as possible.
In next month’s Voices we will give you the up to date information that is provided to us. In the meantime, please think of helping our community’s businesses during this time.
Speaking of business – Majestic Golf Club has reopened its club house to a renovated facility with two restaurants – Hudays and the Double Eagle Event Center. David Deetscreek provides us with an article about this “resurrection of a well-known landmark.”
In Voices of Lehigh I hope you enjoy Commissioner Cathy Kruse’ article regarding the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District. Give Cathy a call at 239-303- 5300 or contact her at Commissioner_Kruse@Lehighfd.com.
Finally, Representative Spencer Roach (R- North Fort Myers/Lehigh Acres) writes to us about some of the dificult decisions a state representative makes. Currently the Florida Legislature is in session and it will adjourn next month. Give Spencer a call at 239-656-7790 or contact him at Spencer.Roach@mail.house.gov.
To one and all who are Irish, and those who would like to be for just a day: Happy St. Patrick’s Day — March 17th!