Many of the Marco Island residents who attended a public meeting Monday night told Collier County officials and members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) that they were against a toll for a new S.S. Jolley Bridge.
The meeting was part of a toll bridge study authorized by the MPO, the organization that prioritizes road projects in the county. The Jolley Bridge project to expand the two lanes to four is high on the MPO’s priority list, second only to the expansion of Davis Boulevard.
Many of the residents said only visitors should pay the price if a toll was mandated. Several noted that a toll would “devastate” workers who cross onto the island to provide services.
“I’m speaking for the employees,” businessman Richard Shanahan said. “The employees are going to pay.”
Citizens noted that the toll costs would eventually be added onto the price of goods and services. Other residents said that traffic would be backed up on Hwy. 951 to Capri Boulevard if a toll booth was constructed.
Don Scott, Collier County Transportation Planning Director, told the attendees that a toll is one possible funding option for a new bridge. He used a $2 fee as an example of a possible toll. Scott added that the project was estimated at $44 million several years ago. The project isn’t expected to begin until at least 10 years from now. The cost would likely increase because of inflation.
Cambridge Systematics, a consulting firm hired by the MPO, conducted a survey of drivers for the study. Handouts were given to drivers at the intersection of North Collier Boulevard and Barfield Drive. The forms asked information relating to the sex and income of the drivers and many driving habits and routes.
Many of the people attending Monday night’s meeting said several of the questions were unimportant and an invasion of their privacy.
Scott said another public hearing will be scheduled for July to gather data during the off-season.
- DOCUMENT: Download the MPO survey about the Jolley Bridge (.pdf)
- RELATED: Marco crowd says no to tolls for Jolley Bridge (04-02-07)
- RELATED: Toll feasibility study expected to delay traffic on North Collier (03-28-07)
- RELATED: Tentative date set for Jolley Bridge toll hearing (03-10-07)
- RELATED: Toll for Jolley bridge to be studied; no amount set (02-09-07)