Published: May 16, 2013 2:50 PM EDT

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla.- Residents in Suncoast Estates will see road improvements. Because of the magnitude and cost of this project, it willl be completed in multi-year phases.

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the acceptance of donated road rights-of-way for unpaved roads in Suncoast Estates at its May 14 meeting. This allows Lee County to move forward to pave designated roads in Suncoast Estates over the next nine years using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and local gas tax funds.

The $3.1 million project will help Suncoast Estates’ more than 1,600 households, of which 42 percent are renters. An estimated 68 percent of households in Suncoast Estates report income below 80 percent of the area median income.

The first phase will begin this month and will include the paving of Tucker, Payne and Laurel Lanes. Drainage improvements have already been made on these three roadways, which is why they were the first streets selected.

Drainage improvements will be made and a stabilized temporary road base constructed on the remaining roads. Those include Case and Gish Lanes as well as Grady and Bartholomew Drives. These roads will then be brought up to Lee County standards and paved during years two through nine with future CDBG funds, and then accepted by Lee County for future maintenance.