CREATED Oct. 7, 2013
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- A controversial Collier County beach re-nourishment project is moving full speed ahead despite major opposition from neighbors and neighboring cities.On Monday, county officials announced the project could start soon. Earlier this summer County Commissioners approved a 9.5 million dollar re-nourishment project project for the beaches. But what was supposed to be an upgrade to the area, has sparked outrage.
Collier County leaders plan on hauling sand on nearly 400 trucks down I-75 and Corkscrew Road to re-nourish these beaches. But, Lee County officials said that plan is beyond dangerous and they want nothing to do with it.
"There are children out there going to school in the morning and we have college students going to and from FGCU. So there have been two accidents in the last 18 months with serious injuries along that road based on trucking alone." Lee County Mgr. Roger Desjarla said in an October 3rd interview.
Collier County Commissioners don't see it that way. They said Corkscrew Road has been used in the past to haul sand and that's not changing. Lee County officials want Collier projects to stay on their own turf.
"We would very much like for Collier County to take all those trucks through Collier County roads for their project." Desjarla said.
The trucks will be hauling sand on to Vanderbilt, Park Shore and City of Naples beaches. County leaders hoped to start the major re-nourishment project sooner, but were delayed by a petition filed with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Naples resident Bob Krasowski fought for the project to be putt off until after Sea Turtle nesting season.
"They could start by doing the public beaches in front of the hotels first and that would have the least impact and this would be after November 1st after the total end of turtle nesting season." Krasowski said.
The DEP has sided with Collier County and has given the go ahead to start bringing in sand. County officials said right now there are only five unhatched turtle nests left on the beaches and can easily be avoided without any impact.
County Commissioners will discuss the project further at October 8th's meeting.