LEE COUNTY, Fla.- "The Fort Myers Police Department made the decision to close the roadway and as part of that for whatever reason they did not notify the County to activate the signs," the Director of Lee County DOT David Loveland said.
Loveland said with no signs, First St. was chaotic due to Tropical Storm Debby. Drivers were forced to navigate the flooding and figure out how to get across the river themselves. If the new $5.6 million bridge incident management system was turned on, like it should have been, drivers would have been aware of the best alternative route.
Fort Myers Police Chief Doug Baker said the County never told him what policies and procedures apply to the new system.
"We want to make sure we inform everyone so they have the accurate information, but you know it is tough to do something when you don't know what that something is," said Baker.
FLDOT said they turned the signs over to Lee County in March. Lee County said the signs were in a testing phase and turned over to them only a week before Debby. Some residents said that's no excuse and someone dropped the ball. It makes them question the multi-million dollar investment.
Resident David Agoston said, "It is absurd. It should never happen. It should never happen again. It should of never happened once."
Others said it was money well spent and with any new system there comes a learning curve. The bridge incident management system has been a major priority for Lee County for years.