There are projects that have been designed to to make a busy road safer and commutes shorter.
Florida Department of Transportation is preparing to create a diverging diamond on Colonial Boulevard near I-75 in Fort Myers. Construction for the project is set to begin in August and is expected to take a little more than a year to finish.
FDOT says lane shifts will begin in August along Colonial here at I-75, but officials say the same number of lanes will remain while the work is being done, and lane closures will happen overnight.
Three separate projects will take place over the next three years along Colonial — One at Six Mile Cypress Parkway, one at I-75 and one at The Forum.
The FDOT says only one project will be worked on at a time to minimize the impact to drivers.
Drivers we spoke to said they’re excited about the new look of the roadway but nervous about increased delays.
“Traffic gets backed up all the way back to where The Forum is,” Benney Nguyen said. “So, you know, it just creates so much time just to like wait.”
“It’s always busy depending on the time of day,” Tomas Ortiz said.
While all three projects will have their own unique design, FDOT says it will work together and help make this stretch safer and more efficient.
The diverging diamond interchange at Colonial and I-75 will mean all left turns will happen without crossing oncoming traffic, which officials say will make it safer and eliminate T-bone crashes. There will also be fewer traffic lights, meaning less wait times through the area.
“Just spending less time on that huge traffic would just make my day so much better,” Nguyen said.
“Well, if it makes it easier, it should be better,” Ortiz said. “But, of course, construction always slows things up.”
During a question and answer forum with the community, FDOT officials also said they’re making sure each project is completed on time by using incentives.
FDOT officials also say there are penalties for the contractor if they do not complete the project on time.
Florida Department of Transportation has a digital interactive website with details about each phase of the projects. There, you can also see what it looks like to drive through a diverging diamond interchange.