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Sewer line project on Fowler St. creating safer roadways, won't fix flooding concerns

Fowler Street Sewer replacement project
Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 20:02:21-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Tuesday, day two of a two-week shutdown to replace sewer lines on Fowler Street is moving forward, according to Fort Myers Director of Public Works, Richard Moulton.

“We hope to make Market and Fowler, that intersection navigable or drivable by Monday of next week,” said Moulton.

A promise made by Moulton after detours from day one of the two-week shutdown, brought along some issues for business owners.

“We had a lot of day 1 issues with detours,” said Moulton.

Issues felt by Jazmine Rodriguez whose father Ralph, owns Ralph's barbershop on Fowler Street.

“He was already having an issue with parking and traffic,” said Rodriguez.

On Monday, Rodriguez told Fox 4 she hoped news of replacing sewer lines, meant eliminating future flooding on Fowler Street.

A concern that is not being handled by this project, according to Moulton.

“It is really focused on sanitary sewer, not storm sewer,” said Moulton.

While storm drains that handle flooding is controlled by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT),
Moulton said the 20-year-old sewer lines that the city was digging up are part of the city’s infrastructure making it their project to replace them.

“It averts a problem where the whole road sinks or sewer fails and backs up,” said Moulton.

On Monday, Ralphs Barbershop said they worried about construction limiting local businesses, something Moulton said he investigated today.

“We visited earlier today,” said Moulton.

Moulton said he drove the detour on Fowler Street to see first-hand how bad traffic congestion was.

“Seemed to have been flowing fairly normal,” said Moulton.

On Tuesday, we asked Ralph about the traffic congestion on day two of the construction project.

“My colleagues aren't getting any traffic at all, I'm getting a little bit because I'm right in the detour so it's bittersweet,” said Ralph.

Ralph said the traffic near his shop could bring in more business or stop customers from coming into this area of Fort Myers.

We reached out to FDOT to see if flooding concerns are something they are looking at for Fowler Street, we have not received their answer at this time.