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Commissioners approve a $2.9 million roundabout in the Gateway community

Vote passes to place roundabout in busy intersection
Posted at 8:33 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 20:33:13-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Changes are coming soon to the Gateway Community.

After seeing an influx in accidents, Lee County is now working to ease traffic in the intersection of Gateway Blvd. and Commerce Lakes Drive during rush hour periods.

Community supervisors say they have been working with the county to find a traffic solution for nearly a year and a half.

Tuesday, Lee County Commissioners voted unanimously to place a roundabout in the intersection in hopes of improving overall safety.

Alex Basile, owner The Saucy Meatball which sits right off of Gateway Blvd., says he avoids this intersection at all costs.

“There is always something going on around here somebody trying to get across, I'm always hearing tires screeching and literally watching accidents right in front of my eyes, ” said Basile.

From 2015 through 2018, there were 50 reported right-angle crashes and 75 crashes of all types overall at the intersection of Gateway Boulevard and Commerce Lakes Drive.

Neighbors say they are relieved, as it is time something was done in the area.

“Traffic moves pretty fast and it doesn’t stop, ” said Frank Robers.

The roundabout will cost $2.87 million dollars. Lee County has determined it is the best alternative, without adding excessive delays.

“It’s a lot of money, a lot of frustration, a lot of congestion. Unfortunately in Gateway, there are not many ways of getting around those two intersections,” said Ed Tinkle.

The project is set to begin in October and could take up to a year to complete.

Community Supervisor Ed Tinkle says construction will be done in sections to keep traffic flowing.

“They are having to do design such that you build an area, keep another area open, then flip fop, ” said Tinkle.

The county has contracted the Fort Myers based company Wright Construction Group to complete the roundabout.