New Metro Parkway Extension set to open Sunday

Corey Perrine/Staff
Crew members talk Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Fort Myers, Fla. The new roadway connecting Metro Parkway to US 41 just south of Alico Road is almost complete.  It features a massive flyover across Alico Road and is expected to dramatically impact the way people commute into Fort Myers.

Photo by COREY PERRINE // Buy this photo

Corey Perrine/Staff Crew members talk Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Fort Myers, Fla. The new roadway connecting Metro Parkway to US 41 just south of Alico Road is almost complete. It features a massive flyover across Alico Road and is expected to dramatically impact the way people commute into Fort Myers.

Drivers get ready, the new Metro Parkway Extension opens to traffic on Sunday.

The new six-lane roadway runs from U.S. 41, south of Alico Road to Six Mile Cypress Parkway and is expected to alleviate north and south traffic on U.S. 41.

Debbie Tower, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation, said CW Roberts, the contractor, told them by 5 p.m. on Sunday traffic can begin using the new stretch of road, if weather permits.

Tower said even though the road is opening, it is still a construction zone and all road rules must be followed, especially since traffic fines are double.

"We're pleased to hear the contractors are opening the new roadway," Tower said. "But we are emphasizing that it is still a construction zone and speeding fines are double."

Tower said the remaining work is primarily aesthetic. She said workers need to complete a pond at the north end of the extension, landscaping at the berm on Anderson Lane, finish up items on the overpass, add some fencing and sod at the south end and connecting the multi-use pathway to Alico Road.

All work is expected to be completed by the end of November.

Tower also said to drivers in the Briarcliff development that a traffic study will be conducted to determine if a stoplight is needed at the new Metro Parkway and Briarcliff Road intersection. She added that Lee County has already budgeted $225,000 for a new light, if FDOT determines the stop sign isn't sufficient. But for now, Tower said, drivers should obey the stop sign.

Sabina Bhasin

Multimedia Journalist

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