State Road 82
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Lehigh residents worry that State Route 82 isn't safe enough.
You've read the news reports... yet another accident on state route 82.
People who live and work along this road all have their horror stories to share.
Jairo Blandon who is a grocery clerk at Publix said that there are "too many accidents... I think it should be bigger...like wider roads."
Jario is not alone in thinking this road needs to be widened.
But the Florida Department Of Transportation says there is nothing wrong with the road.
Debbie Tower explains that "FDOT builds safe roads... and that the road is meeting the needs of the community."
In fact the number of accidents have been going down over the past few years -- and state road 82's accident history is average for this type of two lane road.
Yet, there is a push to expand the road sooner than later.
Don Scott is the executive director for the metropolitan planning organization.
They advise the county commission on which projects to pay for.
Scott says "this is one of our top priorities."
He explains that state route 82 is a two lane road, with no paved shoulder, no median divider with no street lights.
If people are impatient and decide to cross the center line to pass someone... it can lead to problems.
Debbie Tower pointed out that "were seeing very tragic results from these crashes. things that are very much preventable."
The road is slated for improvements, but the earliest wouldn't be for another 5 years.
The plan is to expand it to four lanes, particularly the stretch of road from colonial to homestead.
In the meantime, FDOT is urging drivers on this road to be cautious.
The expansion of the most important phases from Colonial to Homestead would be about 110 million dollars.
The earliest they could be expected to work on that would be in six years.