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ROAD REVAMP: People in LaBelle eager for Wheeler Road overhaul

After years of traversing potholes and dust, Hendry County discusses $2.5 Million project to pave the dirt road
Posted at 7:49 PM, Jan 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 20:08:01-05

LABELLE, Fla. — When you’re driving, you try to avoid potholes and bumps so your car doesn’t get damaged, but, people in LaBelle say that’s been hard to do on Wheeler Road - it’s a dirt road just covered with them. In a meeting on Tuesday, Hendry County Commissioners are talking about paving it.

Scott Dewey, who lives on Wheeler Road, expressed his frustration, saying “I’ve had a couple of flat tires out here.” Another resident, Polly Wilson, described the road as “bump, bump, bump, bump, bump…really, really bad.”

That’s the reality for some people living on this road right now. Polly Wilson says she and her husband have lived off Wheeler for three years now and have seen the toll it can take on car tires.

“This trailer right here - my husband had to change the tires on it four times in one year,” Wilson added.

She also raised concerns about the health implications, particularly the dust kicked up from the road that she doesn’t want her grandson breathing in when he plays outside.

The proposed project, estimated to cost around $2.5 million, would pave a 2.6 mile stretch of Wheeler road from 13th Place to just north of 23rd Terrace. Hendry County says its been a planned project and is a priority for the county.

"We really need it, been needing it for a long time," Dewey stated. Wilson added, "I really am going to appreciate it - there’s going to be so many benefits to having a paved road," she said. She also hopes the county will consider adding lighting along the road to enhance safety, especially for children walking to the bus stop in the mornings.

"These people fly down the road in the morning, and none of these kids are wearing orange vests. So, that’s going to help a lot because if they do the road, more than likely they’ll do the lights," said Wilson.

But, for now, the people Fox 4 spoke to say finally paving this road would be a huge improvement.

“Everyone in the area that I know is looking forward to it,” said Dewey.