Sunday, November 28, 2021

Coastal Comments



Donna Fiala

Recently, someone suggested I mention the activity that will take place at the Collier Blvd/US-951 corridor and also on US-41 E. corridor. Now that we have folks coming back for season, this might be a good time to mention what you can look forward to in the coming months and years.

*First and foremost, the big item is the construction/reconfiguration of the US-951/US-41 intersection, which will begin in November and last from 24 to 30 months. You might have noticed a decorative wall being built at the entrance to the Eagle Creek Community, with funds from the state, local and private funds. The state had originally planned to build a 21 foot noise wall, but the community resounded loudly that they would feel “walled-in.” They worked with the state and county for almost a year before a plan that everyone could live with emerged and was approved. You are beginning to see it now as you ride past this lovely community.

*It is likely that the first sign of construction you will see at this intersection is the removal of the old gas station on the northwest corner of US-41, and in its place a storm water retention pond will be built. Hopefully, funds will be available to build a grassy area with trees, a fountain and lovely lighting.

*Next, the utilities will be relocated and the traffic will be adjusted so the construction company can work safely. This intersection, which is considered quite dangerous, will soon become a safe intersection with a 70 foot wide median in some places. Take a ride down Airport Road to Golden Gate Parkway and look at the overpass: you’ll get an idea of what it will look like when it is finished – but without an overpass. This will be a footprint for a future overpass – presently budgeted for 2025 to 2030 in the state’s budget. Beginning in March, the FDOT plans to begin the second phase – the widening of US-41 E. from two lanes to six lanes from 951 to Greenway Road, and two lanes to four lanes from Greenway Road to 6 L’s Farm Road. The project is projected for completion in 18 months. Of course that projection does not figure in any delays or any weather problems. Luckily, we can rule out snow delays. (I’m in Ohio right now visiting my Amish friends for the last time this year, and it is as cold as an igloo and has snowed twice in three days. Yipes! Too cold for this Florida girl)

*As you travel north on Collier Blvd. you will notice more construction taking place – a condo complex and an assisted living facility. Also, tucked further back from Collier Boulevard, on Lely Cultural Boulevard, you will soon see The Arlington of Naples beginning to take shape. The Arlington of Naples is a resort-style Continuing Care Retirement Community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and Memory Support. This marvelous, premier community will be nestled on a beautifully landscaped 39 acre setting. The Arlington is elevating Naples retirement living to an entirely new level.

*Driving further east on Collier Boulevard, you will see the new community of Hacienda Lakes taking shape A new road is being constructed within, plus a bridge. The community is planned for 1,738 homes plus retail and commercial.

*Before I run out of room I’d like to mention that another new community named Naples Reserve is about to be built off US-41 E. on the road that borders the entrance to the ever expanding, beautiful community of Reflection Lakes. It is approved for 1,154 upscale residential homes with hiking, biking, and walking as its hallmark.

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