Published: Jun 24, 2011 12:26 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 24, 2011 2:29 AM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- People living the in Brookhill neighborhood say a construction project, intended to improve their lives, has become a nightmare.

The city of Fort Myers is installing new water, sewer, sidewalks and lighting on several streets near Michigan Avenue and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard.

It's a project that requires tearing up the roads, and with the recent rains, the neighborhood has become a soupy mess.

"When we come home, we don't know if we can get in our driveway," says Shawn Walker, who lives on Gardenia Ave.

Walker says the rough roads caused him to bottom out his car and damage it.

"You can't avoid it," he says.

He says you also can't avoid the mud traps when it rains.

Over the past few days, the dirt outside his window has turned to muck, making the scene look less like a construction zone and more like "a war zone," he says.

"Trucks were stuck all in the road," says Walker. "You're dodging machines in the middle of the night. You can't see the edge of the road. Pretty much you never know where you're going to fall in."

The city's Public Works Department says it is doing all it can to make the roads drive-able, compacting the dirt at the end of each day, but it knows that isn't always a surefire fix.

"It rains, it might become muddy," says Saeed Kazemi, Public Works Director. "Some people might get stuck, but we'll get there as soon possible -- try to make it passable."

Kazemi says the department gave residents in the construction area a 24-hour number to call if the project gives them problems.

Walker says whatever the city is doing now clearly isn't working.

"We wouldn't be having this problem," he says.

Public Works says each portion of the construction should take 1-2 months to complete. The entire project should wrap up by the beginning of next year.