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New dune construction causes concern for beach businesses at Times Square

Businesses near Fort Myers Beach’s Times Square concerned about beach access.

With visitor season in full swing, Dairy Queen owner Tina Eichen says business should be booming here on Fort Myers Beach, but it’s not. She says, “We’re actually down 30%”

Eichen believes the reason is because of a project by Lee County to create four dune walkovers to improve access from the parking lot to the beach.

Right now, three of the locations are under construction near Lynn Hall Park.

The one right across from Eichen’s restaurant, she says, is an obstacle, “The only way people can come up this way is if they have to walk down to the other end of Lynn Hall Park.”

She questions why the county would do the work now, in the height of the season, when most profits are to be made.

“Our businesses all depend on a few months and they’re basically taking our few months away by closing down all these accesses,” Eichen said.

The County says one reason for the timing is that the work has to happen outside of sea turtle nesting season, which is March through October.

Beachgoer Bill Super calls it a major inconvenience, “If you have started one and finish it and move to the next one, it probably would’ve made a lot more sense to me.”

But in the end.

However, not everyone felt the same. Tony Calabriasid said he understands though, “You’ve got a put up for a while but once you finish it’ll be a lot easier. A lot nicer.”

Business owners just hope the construction won’t put an even bigger dent in their profits.

The County tells us the access closest to the pier will be open before the Shrimp Festival which takes place the weekend of March 14.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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