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ALTERNATE ROUTE: FDOT will shut down Caloosahatchee River Bridge for 10 weeks

The bridge into downtown Fort Myers will be closed for 10 weeks while crews install a sidewalk.
Caloosahatchee Bridge
Posted at 5:05 PM, May 21, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The 42,000 drivers who cross the Caloosahatchee River Bridge, on average, every day will need to find a new route this summer.

FDOT announced Tuesday the bridge will be closed for 10 weeks starting Friday, May 31 and partially reopening on August 11.

The closure will allow construction crews more space and the ability to work around-the-clock to install an eight-foot sidewalk.

“By closing the bridge for 10 weeks, it's going to cut the length of this project by 12 months. A year! That’s huge,” said Patricia Pichette with FDOT.

Construction crews began shutting down one lane each direction in April.

Anyone who drives the bridge regularly likely noticed the congestion.

“You know, we’re disappointed,” said Brendon Gallagher, a North Fort Myers resident who took the bridge Tuesday morning to bring his son downtown.

Despite his reservations, Gallagher believes the project will have benefits.

“I see people crossing that bridge, literally walking along the median and walking along those railings,” Gallagher said. “Somebody is gonna get hurt or killed.”

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson, who spoke in support of the closure, said he worked several accidents on the bridge when he was a police officer.

In fact, he told one story of being an accident victim on the bridge.

“With a marked police car, the lights going on, behind a broken down truck and someone plowed into the back of my car,” Anderson said.

Even after 10 weeks, there will still be partial lane closures.

Officials are urging drivers to use the Edison Bridge or the Midpoint bridge as an alternative route.