Goodland Drive rehabilitation project finished ahead of schedule, under budget

Collier County has completed its project to rehabilitate Goodland Drive and protect it from flooding and cutting off the Goodland community in the future.

When Connie Fulmer and her husband moved to Goodland, they just wanted a nice home on the water. Fulmer said, “because we both had boats and so we were very interested in being here.”

They didn’t expect to deal with water all over the only road in and out of their neighborhood every time there was a lot of rain.

“Over the years, we’ve seen people fishing in the water that’s crossing the road we’ve seen people on their float boards paddling. We’ve seen little water vehicles making their way through the water,” said Fulmer.

Greg Bello, president of Goodland Civics Association, said, “if the asphalt layer became collapsed, we would run the risk of not being able to get emergency vehicles into Goodland. Which could leave our residents in a very dangerous situation.”

Collier County leaders say that’s now a thing of the past. They cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of a much-needed rehabilitation project for Goodland Drive.

Collier County Growth Management Deputy Department Head Trinity Scott said, “it’s now with the road elevated and cross drains placed under the road. The water that used to flow over the roadway will flow under the roadway, making it safer for all those traveling in and out of Goodland.”

The people who live in Goodland are not the only winners, so are Collier County taxpayers. The project came in $300,000 under budget and ahead of schedule.

Collier County Commissioner Rick Locastro said, “just like what you would’ve expected if you painted your house or did something, that’s the type of goal we should demand from our contractors when we spend taxpayer dollars.”

“The roadways finished, and we’re grateful for that,” said Fulmer.

Fulmer isn’t the only one glad to see the road complete. Of the 340 people who live in Goodland, WINK News estimates more than 100 of them came out to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Goodland resident Pam Desmet said, “this is the only way in and out of Goodland, this is it. And so if the road is, like I said, if the road is covered you just can’t go anywhere you are either stuck out there or you’re stuck in here one or the other.”

“I mean we’ve had people in emergencies that have to get out and could not get out. People trying to get back in with families or they’re coming back home late. It was too dangerous to try to go through,” said Natalie Siavrakas

Drivers can now pass through without fear of rainwater or stormwater.

What took 10 months to fix, took 10 years of fighting to make happen. “I never lost faith that we would be here today. Our residents’ safety is improved because of dogged perseverance,” said Mike Barbush, Goodland Civic Association vice president.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Matthew Seaver
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