Published: Jul 31, 2010 5:33 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 31, 2010 2:33 AM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - The two-mile Santa Barbara Boulevard Extension (Davis Boulevard to Rattlesnake Hammock Road is set to open to traffic later Monday August 2nd. The county’s contractor, Astaldi Construction Corporation, has been working overtime this week to reach substantial completion and the county will allow the new six-lane roadway next week.

The newly constructed roadway has six travel lanes, three lanes northbound and three lanes southbound, with a raised median separating the two sides, on-road bike lanes as well as six-foot wide sidewalks with curb and gutter on both sides of the roadway. In addition, a 3,200 foot Lely Area Stormwater Improvement Project (LASIP) canal was built as part of the project north of Royal Wood Country Club.

Growth Management Division (the combined Transportation Services and Community Development Environmental Services divisions) Administrator Norman Feder said that this project will help save drivers time and money.

“Extending Santa Barbara Boulevard opens up a significant north-south corridor from Rattlesnake Hammock Road to Immokalee Road through the middle of Collier County,” said Feder.

Drivers who previously traveled from U.S. 41 or Collier Boulevard to Rattlesnake Hammock Road to County Barn Road to reach Davis Boulevard then connected with Santa Barbara Boulevard to head further north can remove a few turns and several minutes from their commute.

Construction began in December 2008. The contracted price was $21.4 million. Feder said that once all items are invoiced and paid, the final project amount will be within budget.

With the addition of the latest 12 lane miles opening to traffic today (which is two miles of roadway with three lanes in each direction) the Growth Management Division has constructed more than 225 lane miles of new capacity, and an additional 155 lane miles of rebuilt roadway on 21 different road projects, all of which have been opened to traffic. All this has been accomplished thanks to a strong commitment from the Board of County Commissioners to build needed roadways.

The contractor’s crews will continue to work on punch list items for approximately a month. Final pavement markings will also be completed after the final layer of asphalt has time to cure which also takes about a month. A completion ceremony will be planned to celebrate the county’s latest engineering accomplishment when all work is final.