Bridge proposals could cut down emergency response times in Golden Gate Estates

A proposal for five bridges in Collier County is still under discussion Wednesday. They would all go in the Golden Gate Estates area of the county, and first responders say this would help many people in an emergency.

Collier County Board of County Commissioners has yet to approve the proposal yet because commissioners are unsure if the pros of first responders cutting down their response times would outweigh the cons of increasing traffic along community roads.

People who live nearby the potential project area say they understand both sides and believe it’s a tough call to make.

“We need better response time out there,” Rob Rogers said. “Poor guys got one emergency thing out there, and that’s it, and this is a big area.”

But it could also bring more traffic to people who live in Golden Gate Estates.

“I don’t like it just because of the extra traffic that’s going to go through here,” Rogers said.

Rogers lives on 10th Avenue SE, where the County would like to build one of the five bridges at the end of his street.

“There’s a lot of kids on the road,” Rogers said.

The bridge study was started back in 2008 to try and connect roads in the Estates area to help first responders have better response times.

The study shows it could cut, sometimes, up to 7 minutes in response times.

“The pros is definitely the emergency response time,” Rogers said.

Tuesday, commissioners discussed starting the process of building five new bridges that could help that, but Commissioner Bill McDaniel was not on board with the up to $37.8 million plan.

“I am not happy about these bridges,” McDaniel said at the meeting. “The quality of life for the people who live on these streets is enormous.”

Commissioners ultimately decided to postpone voting so they can get more information about the traffic.

The commissioners voted to start a traffic study on roads in Golden Gate Estates, so they can get a better understanding of how busy it could get. After the study is done, they will bring it back to discuss it again.

“I think that was a smart move,” Rogers said.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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