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3.25-mile-long sidewalk to connect Fort Myers Beach to Bonita Beach, what you need to know

3.25-mile-long sidewalk to connect Fort Myers Beach to Bonita Beach, what you need to know
Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 09, 2024

ESTERO ISLAND, Fla. — From Big Hickory Pass to Big Carlos Pass, and everything in between… It will soon be pedestrian-friendly.

Lee County Commissioners approved an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to design a 12-foot wide, 3.25 mile-long, mixed-use trail to better connect Bonita Beach to Fort Myers Beach.

We are a while out from the finished product, as the Lee County Government says the design phase is not expected to begin until the end of 2024. The Lee County Government notes the trail’s costs are expected to be covered by state funding through FDOT.

Fox 4's Bella Line spoke with some businesses that use the islands the most.

Joey Nelson owns Island Breeze Kayaks and says he is often referring his customers to walk across the bridge to Bonita Beach, but right now with a smaller sidewalk, it is unsafe to do so.

“People are struggling across the bridge with their coolers and their chairs and everything, so I think that sidewalk is just fabulous," said Nelson.

James Furman with MCE Tours says the free parking on Big Hickory Island will be an even bigger benefit for people trying to spend their day at the beach without paying too much for parking.

“I think the people who are walking to and from the beach would use it for this particular parking lot," said Furman.

The trail would be a part of the Shared Use Non-motorized (SUN) Program by the state which gets its funding from state vehicle tag sales in hopes of creating a safer pedestrian experience.