Editorial: I-75 project ... we’ll call it complete when Immokalee Road is cleared

Once again, we are happy to report, we hear stories about the widening of Interstate 75 in Collier and Lee counties being ahead of schedule.

Way ahead of schedule.

By up to eight months.

The actual widening from four to six lanes — from Golden Gate Parkway in Collier to Colonial Boulevard in Lee — is to be finished by the end of the year. The rest is to be finished by April.

“The rest” includes work on widening and connecting Immokalee Road to and from the improved I-75.

Immokalee Road is such a mess at rush hour that most Collier Countians will withhold their celebration of the I-75 improvements until that part is wrapped up.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re glad I-75 is finally being addressed at all — especially after being told for years that the widening could not even be considered until right about now. And, we understand the work in the Immokalee Road area got a late start.

Still, a mess is a mess, and finished is finished. Immokalee Road will be the litmus test for many motorists as they decide when to declare I-75 improvements finished. It’s enough to make some of them mutter about “how they did it up North” — more quickly, amid more severe weather.

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