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Sewer line replacement project has businesses worried on Fowler St.

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 12:41:44-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Monday, business owners reacted to a sewer line replacement project that will shut down Fowler Street in Fort Myers until Sept. 12.

The city of Fort Myers said the Fowler Street closure from Edison Avenue to Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.

Business owners like Jazmin Rodriguez fear the city’s sewer line solution could cause some immediate problems.

“It was already so bad, with the entryway and exit, because it's only one way in and one way out,” said Rodriguez.

A tough location for her family's business, Ralphs Barbershop.

On Monday, Rodriguez said a two-week sewer line replacement closure is now making it tougher for her family-owned business.

“You can't drive through there so now it's only one way, through the light on MLK through to downtown,” said Rodriguez.

Fort Myers spokesperson Liz Bello-Matthews said Fowler Street would go from being partially closed like this, to completely shut down from Edison Avenue to MLK Boulevard by 3 AM Tuesday morning.

Rodriguez said that could mean fewer customers and a longer commute on her drive to Alva where along the way, she drops her daughter off at a Fowler Street daycare.

"Driving back this morning typically takes me from 20 minutes to 30 tops, took me an hour this morning," said Rodriguez.

Issues we asked Fort Myers city leaders about, and below is a response from city spokesperson Liz Bello- Matthews.

While the management of traffic was created to minimize disruption and allow for the completion of the work as quickly as possible, the city will continue to drive the area and analyze the best path forward. We do not want to impact our local businesses in a negative way. As such, if we need to adjust the MOT, then it will happen in the next few days.
Liz Bello-Matthews, City of Fort Myers

The delays, which Rodriguez said are creating immediate problems, Rodriguez hopes will fix a drawn-out issue, by eliminating flooding on Fowler Street.

“I get that it floods, they have got to do something about it,” said Rodriguez.

In the meantime, Rodriguez hopes these two weeks of promised sewer improvements do not cause her family business to suffer.