Collier Co. School District asking for faster construction on SR 82

IMMOKALEE, Fla. – The Immokalee High School principal, along with the school board and Collier County commissioners all sent a letter to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) asking if the construction on State Road 82 could be sped up.

“Each morning we have to worry about, will our staff be here to start the day?” Principal Ken Fairbanks said. “Everyday our students have to travel down that road, our faculty has to travel down that road, our parents do, and almost on any given day there’s accidents and we’ve had some fatalities here in the community.”

In October, he addressed the school board about his concerns. Earlier this week they sent a letter to FDOT asking for SR-82 to become a higher priority.

“We would hate to see us lose anyone because of things that we can do to repair it.”

However, FDOT says it’s not that easy.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into widening a road, it’s not just putting down asphalt,” Zachary Burch with FDOT said.

The 23-mile stretch of highway has been broken up into seven projects. The first, which is between Columbus Boulevard and Corkscrew Road, is already underway. The next phase is slated to start in 2018, around the same time the first phase will be completed. The plan is to add more lanes, street lights, and other safety features such as brighter stop signs and rumble strips.

“We want to make sure that it’s done right and that once we do it the road will be in great shape for years and years to come,” Burch said.

FDOT says they are continuing to look into the school district’s request.

The total cost of the project will be more than $250 million.

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