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TEAM COVERAGE: Residents have mixed feelings about Monday's US-41 bridge reno

Fox 4's Bella Line spoke with residents in North Fort Myers to see how they feel about the Caloosahatchee Bridge renovations... and people are on both sides of the aisle.
Caloosahatchee Bridge renovation brigs controversy among residents
Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-07 22:10:29-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Florida Department of Transportation is shutting down part of the Caloosahatchee Bridge starting Monday in hopes to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

HEADS UP! The Caloosahatchee Bridge will go down to one lane until December (

“We see how much people are risking their lives to cross that bridge to get either to downtown Fort Myers or North Fort Myers," said Janella Newsome, a spokesperson for FDOT.

The Caloosahatchee Bridge will begin renovations that will have many drivers rerouting their commute.

The bridge will be down to one lane going north and south bounds until December 2024, with some days being completely shut down from 10 PM until 5 AM.

“The congestion is too bad right now and them shutting it down is going to be more of a problem for everybody around here," said Bob Stoner, a North Fort Myers resident for 10 years.

FDOT tells Fox 4, this renovation is necessary for the safety of pedestrians.

“I was in Fort Myers maybe a month ago and while we were there at the foot of that bridge, we actually witnessed ourselves seeing someone pedal their bike across that bridge and cars can travel at about 45 miles per hour,” said Newsome.

FDOT says they are adding an 8-foot sidewalk on the west side of the southbound lanes, so I asked people who use the bridge often if they believe the sidewalk is necessary and people are on both sides of the issue.

“We don’t need an 8-foot pedestrian sidewalk," said Stoner. "I feel the one we have right now is sufficient. They don’t have a bunch of foot traffic across the bridge to begin with, so why go spend all the money to replace something they don’t need?"

"If pedestrians want to use the bridge there’s no reason why they can’t be safe,” said Talia Dosa, a seasonal resident.

“Living at a border crossing where I come from in Canada there are walkways there. People do walk, and I couldn’t picture someone trying to cross the bridge by foot without a sidewalk," said Mary Costa, a seasonal resident.

FDOT says the bridge project is expected to be complete by the spring of 2026.