Projects Around Town
Bayside Park Redesign
Redevelopment plans for Bayside Park have been under discussion for the past few years by Town Council. The park is near the downtown area of Fort Myers Beach in a residential and commercial area on the bay at the end of Old San Carlos Boulevard. The design firm DRMP, Inc., was contracted by Town Council in 2019 to design improvements to the park.
Designs have undergone several revisions based on feedback from Town Council and community members. Town Council voted to approve the design that was presented by DRMP in January of 2021 with bids expected to be distributed in the spring of 2021 for a fall construction start. Flexible space has been allocated in the plans for a veterans tribute with input in process by community members and veterans.
This project is being conducted in partnership with improvements to two other iconic areas of FMB - Bay Oaks Recreational Campus and Times Square. In November 2020, Town Councilors finalized a $10 million loan secured through First Florida Integrity Bank to fund all three projects. Grants to help offset the cost of these projects are also being pursued.
Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Redesign
Plans to redevelop the six-acre Bay Oaks Recreational Campus at 2731 Oak Street have been in discussion by Town Council and the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Advisory Board (BORCAB) since 2018, with several opportunities for community input. The design firm DRMP, Inc., is expected to have final plans to put out for bid in the spring of 2021 with construction expected to start at the end of 2021.
The redevelopment will include a new building for a variety of youth and senior programs and activities, floor exercise, passive recreation, amphitheater, a gym and weight room, and welcome center, along with space for multiple uses and other new recreational amenities. Redevelopment of the grounds will include large and small ball fields with lighting, improved entrance and exit for pedestrians and vehicles, outdoor basketball, pickleball courts, and tennis courts. Space for a future active recreation facility and a standalone amphitheater is also included in site plans for the grounds.
This project is being conducted in partnership with improvements to two other iconic areas of FMB - Bayside Park and Times Square. In November 2020, Town Councilors finalized a $10 million loan secured through First Florida Integrity Bank to fund all three projects. Grants to help offset the cost of these projects are also being pursued.
Aerial view of Bay Oaks
Big Carlos Pass Bridge Project by Lee County
The Lee County Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the process of assessing improvements needed to the Big Carlos Pass Bridge on Estero Boulevard (County Road 865) on the south end of the Town/Estero Island, with preliminary plans to make improvements.
Connecticut Street Sidewalks
The Florida Department of Transportation started a project in the Fall of 2020 to construct sidewalk and drainage on the east side of Connecticut Street from Estero Boulevard to Shell Mound Boulevard. This project was completed in March of 2021.
Estero Boulevard improvement project - reFresh Estero Boulevard
Since 2007, the Lee County Department of Transportation and the Town of Fort Myers Beach have been working together to first develop plans and then reconstruct Estero Boulevard from Crescent Street to Big Carlos Pass. The two major goals of this project have been to improve safety for ALL users (motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians), and improve drainage on Estero Boulevard.
Estero Boulevard lighting project
On February 16, 2021, Town Council approved a $185,000 contract with REDD, Inc., DBA Town Lighting Engineers, to address longstanding safety and wildlife-friendly lighting concerns on Estero Boulevard. FPL representatives also attended that meeting to help Town Councilors understand the level of support that can be expected from FPL for this project.
Watch June 9 Town Council Management and Planning session that includes update from REDD, Inc. (Presentation starts at about 22 minutes and 33 seconds.)
TPI Hospitality is in the process of building a Margaritaville Resort on Estero Boulevard in the downtown district of Fort Myers Beach. A groundbreaking was held on August 13, 2021, with construction expected to last for two years.
Matanzas Pass Bridge base traffic and landscaping
Lee County Government is planning improvements to streets, stoplights, traffic flows, and landscaping at the base of the Matanzas Pass Bridge on the north end of Estero Island. Federal Department of Transportation (FDOT) funding will be used for this project. County officials briefed Town Council on a couple occasions in 2020 with preliminary designs expected in 2021. Public hearings and the bidding process will follow with construction expected to begin in 2022.
Matanzas Harbor Mooring Field Upgrade
The upgrade that the Town is seeking is to provide an additional 19 moorings west of Matanzas Pass Bridge which will accommodate vessels up to 85 feet in length.
The Town is responsible to apply for and obtain all permits and funding authorizations for the proposed expansion, and for selecting the contractor and construction oversight. Numerous state and federal agencies are involved in this process, including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC.)
This permitting and funding authorization process began in 2020 and is expected to take about 12 months to complete. The bidding process for a contractor to perform the work will follow. Once a contractor has been selected, construction is expected to take about six weeks.
Starting October 1, 2021, administrative management of services for Matanzas Harbor Mooring Field changed from Estero Bay Hotel Company dba Matanzas Inn to Town staff. Town staff will manage the administrative functions of Mooring Field from leased office space (Unit G109) in nearby Harbor House, at 450 Old San Carlos Boulevard. Matanzas Inn will continue to provide and maintain restrooms, the dock, trash, water and laundry.
This change came about after several months of discussion and planning by Town Councilors, Town staff and members of the Anchorage Advisory Committee about the future expansion and management of Mooring Field. Town Councilors authorized the change at the August 2, 2021, Town Council meeting by approving a modified lease agreement with Matanzas Inn. This action provides for continuity of services while the Town explores options for the future.
Traffic light at intersection of San Carlos and Estero Boulevards
Construction on a new traffic signal at the intersection of San Carlos and Estero Boulevards is scheduled to start on August 16, 2021, and be complete by the end of the year.
At the January 11, 2021, Town Council meeting, authorization was given to the Town Manager to award the traffic signal project to Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC. The Local Agency Program (LAP) through the Florida Department of Transportation is the funding source for this project that is estimated to cost $776,511.
Times Square Redesign
Waterline replacement project "reFresh Estero Boulevard"
The reFresh waterlines program is a replacement of existing water mains with a new and more efficient water main system that began in 2014 and is ongoing in cooperation with Lee County and the Town. The reFresh waterlines team is coordinating with Lee County Utilities to replace sanitary sewer in some areas of the project.