Published: Aug 20, 2010 11:31 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 20, 2010 4:05 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Support appears to be eroding for a Colonial Boulevard Elevated Toll Expressway. The idea would be to build a series of flyovers, so drivers could pay a toll and avoid stoplights at intersections.  It would cover a stretch of Colonial from 75 west to around Fowler.

"I am cautiously optimistic, hopeful," said flyover opponent Pamela Templeton.

She spoke after a meeting of the Lee Co. Metropolitan Planning Organization.   Dr. Joe Grubbs of Architecture Incorporated presented a study on the impacts of the expressway.     He estimates that construction would cost 470 businesses, about 289-million dollars.   It also would put 800 out of 6000 people along the corridor, out of work.

After the presentation, several members of the MPO spoke against the concept.   "I see no sentiment to spend millions of dollars to build something that is not needed.   If it's not broken, don't fix it," said Commissioner Frank Mann.

Planning for the project is now on hold.   The MPO may entertain a motion later this fall, to kill the expressway idea. 

"It's never over until it's over, never," said Templeton.    "This is just a bad idea, and it would devastate businesses along the corridor."