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"Corkscrew is crazy:" Estero drivers say it's hard to navigate widening project

Posted at 12:07 AM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 00:07:44-04

ESTERO, Fla. — If you live in Estero or have to travel through the area, you might already have plenty of opinions about Corkscrew Road, and the second phase of a massive widening project underway on a route that was overgrown long ago.

When Estero's Community Correspondent Dominga Murray went to check in on the project, resident Angie Estberg told her the road is dangerous. She says drivers drive too fast through the construction zone, with so many cars around, the danger just multiplies.

"Traffic is bumper to bumper, you've gotta get out between 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon or stay home, otherwise you'll get into all the traffic," Estberg said.


January 30, 2024: Corkscrew Road construction turns a corner

November 20, 2023: Is the Corkscrew widening project making things better?

Phase 2 aims to create 4 lanes from Bella Terra Boulevard to Alico Road, each 11 feet wide. The project will also add a traffic light at Alico Road to help with the current and coming influx of drivers in Estero.

Village of Estero leaders say they are well aware of the safety issues and changes being made by the project's contractor, Bergeron Land Development, to try to improve conditions.

Engage Estero is a non profit that works to connect residents' ideas with county representatives. Mark Novitski is with the organization.

"In 2023, 1000 more households were occupied, on East Corkscrew from Ben Hill Griffin [Parkway] to the Collier County Line. Lee County says that's 2 people per household... so 2,200 people," he said.

As Estero's population grows, here is a list of other concerns Engage Estero has with the driving conditions:

  • School buses and fire rescue vehicles exiting Firehouse Lane
  • Left exiting from Wildcat Run to westbound Corkscrew Rd
  • Crossover elimination construction just east of Wildcat Run
  • Entering and Exiting Wild Blue Blvd and Estero Crossing (Rivercreek) Boulevard
  • Delays in installing the traffic light at Wild Blue Blvd and Estero Crossing (Rivercreek) Blvd
  • Speeding in all sections, especially after the wildlife crossing going eastbound
  • Left exiting from The Preserve to westbound Corkscrew Rd
  • School bus student pickup and drop-off

The East Corkscrew Alliance and Engage Estero are asking for heightened LCSO presence while the construction is happening.
The project is set for completion in 2026 and will cost $27 million dollars.

The following information is provided by Cougar Contracting, Inc.:

  •  Motorists should expect lane shifts and lane closures during the nighttime/overnight hours on Wednesday, March 13 and Thursday March 14 for the contactor to continue work to finish structural asphalt throughout the project. One lane in each direction will remain open during this work.
  • Motorists should expect lane shifts and lane closures during the nighttime/overnight hours starting on Sunday, March 17 for installing the final lift of asphalt throughout the project. This work is expected to last about two weeks.  One lane in each direction will remain open during this work.  The contractor is bringing in two crews to accelerate this work.
  • Crews are installing signage, guardrail, sod, and fencing throughout the project.
  • The contractor continues to complete concrete work including curb and sidewalk.  Motorists should expect construction vehicles entering and leaving the roadway.
  • The sidewalk on the south side of the road from Ben Hill Griffin Parkway to Stoneybrook Golf Drive has been opened to pedestrians.  Please be aware that some areas are a temporary surface.  The Village of Estero is constructing the shared use path.