VIDEO&PHOTOS/Marco bridge: Jolley family endorses bridge expansion; asks that name remain

View of the Island from bridge remains a concern among residents

Marco's Jolley Bridge open house

FDOT's Debbie Tower on the view from ...

— Marco area residents have a view in mind for their new entry way that differs from the current plans for the Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge and transportation officials say they won’t be able to bridge the gap. The daughter of the deceased Collier judge says she supports all the changes — but don’t touch the name.

Nearly 250 people, predominantly Islanders, joined officials from the Florida Department of Transportation at an open house Wednesday evening on Marco to share the design and construction schedule for the stimulus project that will add another two-lane span to the existing two-lane span of the Jolley Bridge.

It will also widen Collier Boulevard to allow two lanes coming on and off the bridge with the hopes of increasing capacity and minimizing common traffic back-ups.

City Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk, City Manager Steve Thompson and members of the city beautification committee initially questioned the height and design of the new span’s railing, which would change the view to Marco. Those concerns seemed to weigh heavy on the minds of many attendees at the open house as well.

“You only have one chance to do this right,” said Keith Dameron of Marco.

Other issues discussed for the $28 million project, which includes $25.5 million for construction and about $2.5 million for inspection and project management, included when and if there would be a new “Welcome to Marco” sign and the lack of fishing piers to replace the existing piers. It will be up to the city to replace and find the proper location for the welcome sign, reported the landscape contractors with Wilson-Miller. It’s not part of the stimulus project, they said.

A popular element and what FDOT Spokeswoman Debbie Tower said was the main point of constructing the project — increased capacity. Currently traffic is backed up coming onto Marco Island from the bridge, and while this condition may exist to some extent in the future, residents were most pleased to hear that Collier Boulevard and the bridge would soon be contiguously two lanes.

Tower assured this reporter that there were no plans for the state to ever privatize or toll the bridge as the stimulus dollars would not need to be recouped.

Tower said she understood the concerns about the view to Marco and effecting its current “wow-factor,” but didn’t think it would have a dramatic negative effect and said it couldn’t be changed now.

The current bridge’s railing is a three-foot tall cement block wall on both sides of the bridge. This will remain. The new span will have a new pedestrian walkway with a protective block on the outside that is taller than the current bridge. It will be a cement wall base that is 42 inches, plus a one-foot, 10-inch aluminum railing. Also, on the traffic-side of that pedestrian railing will be another 42-inch cement wall.

Dameron said he thought the design would create a tunnel-effect and was greatly concerned for the impact it could have on the Island aesthetically and even economically as many people say the view is what brought people to buy property on the Island.

“It’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen,” said Island architect Herb Savage of the railing design.

Tower and spokeswoman Connie Deane of the Collier County Transportation Department both agreed the pedestrian walkway could not be changed at this point.

Deane reported that the pedestrian walkway was an already approved plan by the Metropolitan Planning Organization as part of the county’s trails and pathways system.

Tower said with the contractors, Johnson Brothers and FIGG, already finishing the design, ordering materials and beginning the work, it would be too costly and time-consuming to change the design. Furthermore, the height of the railing is up to current FDOT safety requirements, she said.

The construction’s impact on traffic flow was also a common question and Tower said building the bridge first from barges during the tourist season was intentional so as to have the least impact on traffic along Collier Boulevard.

Construction has started and is to be complete in Nov. 2011. It must be complete per federal stimulus dollar requirements by Spring 2012.

One Marco woman liked everything about the new bridge design — as long as they didn’t change the bridge’s name. June Jolley Dyches, 73, is the daughter of Seward Stokey Jolley, more commonly known as Collier County Judge S.S. Jolley.

“The Legislature dedicated the bridge to my father, who was an early pioneer in the 1930s, 40s and 50s in Collier County. Maintain the name of the person who deserved it,” Jolley-Dyches pleaded.

She hopes the suggestion of Councilman Wayne Waldack at a recent council meeting to possibly rename the bridge is not considered.

“My father was always a man of the people. It would be a tragedy if they changed it,” Jolley-Dyches added.

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Comments » 22

sharkfloss writes:

It is the Judge Jolley Bridge and should stay that! Lets not change the special history this island has just to satisfy someone's ego.

getreal239 writes:

It's the Marco Bridge, I don't care what the official name is.
If his last name had not been quite as catchy sounding, I doubt it would have even been considered.
He might have been a great guy, but it's still the Marco Bridge.

MrBreeze writes:

Again I see no smart people attended the meeting. Did anyone ask the question about the future of the bridge and ownership.

Did anyone ask if any guarantee to the Island residents about future "tolls" on the bridge.

Did anyone ask about the "legacy costs" that go with both the old and the new bridge and how they are going to be funded.

Did anyone ask how the raceway of traffic on Collier was to be controlled and how the traffic managment will take place.

Again just worring about ego and names. Fishing piers and railings.

Nobody ever wants to ask the hard questions,they just look at this as it is so great and free so it must be all good.

dc5799 writes:

Can anyone guess what " I'd like to make a motion"Wayne want's to change it to. Like M M

LadueVGilleo writes:

rolomkat, you have the nerve to say Judge Jolley's daughter should keep her opinion to herself after you express your opinion by calling Judge Jolley a corrupt and devious individual? Have you no shame?

artrules writes:

It sounds as if the safety walls are going to be too high to see over. I can barely see over them now as it is. I hope they reconsider obstructing the view because it's the best part about the drive onto Marco.. being able to see the water, boats, dolphins, etc. There are alot of bridges in Florida that allow for a great view! But, then again.. it is Marco and if it's fun, pretty or enjoyable... they find a way to take it away!

FECOYLE writes:

The Bridge should have been Named the Mackle Brothers Bridge. If it wasnt for them there would be no reason for the Bridge to begin with

Fossil writes:

FECOYLE: I agree. artrules: I agree.

blogsmog writes:

don't try to fight the fact it will be named the minnozi bridge....that train has left the station.

Fossil writes:

blogsmog: Minozzi's name was all but put forward the day Waldack asked the Council to consider renaming the bridge. This is Marco Island. You should know that the Council is simply a rubber stamp for the movers and shakers that run this place. When they renamed Council Chambers to the Tucker room, we who live full-time in Marco Island, learned these decisions are made in the shade. Democracy Marco Island style.

freedomofspeech1 writes:


katieb writes:

The design of this bridge is ugly and sad. Doesn't anybody in this local government give a crap about this island and it's residents? If they keep this up, Marco will no longer be the Marco we all loved. See what happens when the feds get involved, we have no choice in the matter. "Take it this way. Take it now. Or else!"
MrBreeze has a really good point....cost of maintenance?

capt1black writes:

Fossil: They did not name the council room after Mr. Tucker. They named City Hall after him. Here is the quote of the motion from the city meeting minutes.

“MOTION by Councilor Gibson to recognize the contributions of Mr. E. Glenn Tucker and name City Hall after him in honor of his contributions to the City.”

MrBreeze writes:

Katie b I think most people are too s----- to see the truth. I keep saying the "free" bridge will not be free at all.

However most people are mind numb robots that must be programed to accept any all things and just sit back and complain afterwards. It is if they have blinders on, and argue over the most s----- things as the name of the bridge.

Name it "the leaving Marco Bridge" as that is what most of you without alot of money are going to be using when you are taxed and spent off the island and your home is torn down for the next "fat cat" to occupy. Remember when property was hot, those days are not gone forever they are just in a lull and the folks in charge of this Island know just that. It is an Island. You just do not go out and make Islands.

So stay back, do not worry, argue little things like the names, miss the "big picture" and start packing or get ready to start spending.

This "free bridge" is the worst thing that could happen to this Island right now.

Call me a Cavedweller, but right this down in the history books as the year Marco Island changed.

blondie writes:

The name of the bridge is the Jolly Bridge and must stay. It has been known by this name since it beginning. Vistors,tourists, and residents have and still refer to the bridge as the Jolly Bridge. Everyone coming and going to Marco knows it and most people like the sound of it. It has become a "landmark". Jolly Bridge and Marco Island go hand in hand. Please do not tamper with a perfect combination no matter whose name you prefer.

Fossil writes:

katieb: The Feds did not design this bridge. The bridge had to be "shovel ready" to be considered for these funds. The bridge was designed more then a year before the feds even considered paying for it. This money is being put out there to give jobs to Florida workers. Look to the State as the span will belong to the State of Florida and the State will be responsible for maintenance just like the old span is now.

MrBreeze writes:

Yes Fossil, and the State will also have the right to put the bridge up for sale like Alligator Alley a few years back to a private party.

Yes, then they will tell you the "fee or toll" to cross the "free" bridge.

As far as Florida workers go, I think this is a total waste of taxpayers money along with a burden on the Island and something that we all regret in the years to come.

The bad part of this whole bridge thing is what if it is not good for the Island, then what do you tear it down? The other bridge was stated as poor condition that is why a new bridge was designed. Now surprise, the current bridge just needed painting and we also need the new span. Sounds like goverment 101 to me, spend, spend, spend.

All I know is in a state with record forclosed homes, record unemployment and job loss, how can you just go out and build bridges. It just makes no sense what so ever.

getreal239 writes:

blondie, you are incorrect. The bridge has not always been the Jolley Bridge (correct spelling). It was always known as the Marco Bridge, until, much to everyone's surprise, it was renamed the Jolley Bridge. Please, back to Marco Bridge.


blondie writes:

getreal239, Thanks for the corrections. We have lived here 10 years and all those years it was known by me to be the Jolley bridge. I most certainly agree with you that it must stay Marco Bridge, aka Jolley Bridge and that should be the only consideration for the name to continue.

katieb writes:

in response to Fossil:

katieb: The Feds did not design this bridge. The bridge had to be "shovel ready" to be considered for these funds. The bridge was designed more then a year before the feds even considered paying for it. This money is being put out there to give jobs to Florida workers. Look to the State as the span will belong to the State of Florida and the State will be responsible for maintenance just like the old span is now.

Thanks for the correction. Actually, I do recall that we did not have the money at the time, so the design did not seem to be a reality. I am just really sad that we are constantly changing this beautiful island and wasting money at the same time. Yes, the aesthetic and structural capital improvements are always good for communities, but Marco is different. Why didn't we use the "federal" $$ to repair & remodel the current bridge? We don't need another bridge. We have survived all of these years without it. And regardless of who is paying for it, it is still unnecessary spending coming out of every tax paying citizens pocket.
But I guess it is all water under the bridge......

RayPray writes:

How about the Barrack Obama Stimulated Span?

fortl writes:

We should name everything after Glenn Tucker.

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