Published: Nov 29, 2012 7:32 PM EST
Updated: Nov 29, 2012 7:54 PM EST

MATLACHA, Fla. -- The new Matlacha bridge is open for drivers, so work now begins to tear down the old one. But that construction is still causing problems for businesses and drivers.

"I was going slowly up the bridge my window was open, and a wasp or a bee took my attention away from the road for a split second," Mark Northey's car is a little worse for wear after he tried to cross the Matlacha bridge, and according Deborah Cole with Bert's Pine Bay Gallery Arts and Gifts, he's not the only one.

"They stay with the old traffic pattern, they go to the dead end of the old bridge and then they freak out and get scared and back up and one woman ran over our sign," Cole explained. She's also afraid people, intent on watching where they are going, are zooming past her local business.

"It's very hard to get anywhere now, instead the traffic flow is interrupted by the way its changed to the new bridge," she said.

There's also the issue of parking. Lee County Department of Transportation says the contractor Archer Western is aware, and is working to keep their vehicles out of the way.


Work is underway to tear down the old bridge. That's supposed to last for another two and a half months.

One man who lives nearby says after a period of delays he hopes it wraps up soon, because he too deals with congestion. "The construction, all the vehicles that are parked here at times block our access to both the trailer park and the marina next door," said Arch Williams.

There's also a disagreement between the county and the contractor about the work that's completed so far.

The contractor could end up owing the county money for the number of delays to this project. They're going to work out their differences when this project is completely done.