City has spent $52 million on roadwork since incorporation

Steve Stefanides
Fort Myers News-Press

At the most recent Marco Island City Council meeting, council members questioned Tim Pinter, city public works director, about how much the city has expended on roadwork since becoming an independent municipality, no longer falling under the control of Collier County.

The answer – about $52 million.

Pinter detailed the expenditure of funds for just road and bridge replacements and repairs since incorporation:

San Marco Road (State Road 92) has seen a total of $1,082,769 invested in it (became the city’s responsibility as part of the 2002 amendment to the 1998 Inter-Local agreement);

Bridges at North Barfield Drive at Factory Bay, North Barfield at the Marco River Inlet, East Winterberry and Caxambas have seen a total of $9,307,082 invested to replace or substantially repair those poorly maintained structures;

The Smokehouse Bay Bridge (now the Herbert R. Savage Bridge) was replaced for another $8,692,000 just recently;

South and North Collier Boulevard was rebuilt for another $29,980,923;

Design work for the Collier Boulevard project cost another $3,151,000.

The numbers totaled $52,293,774 in major roadway and bridge work alone on the island since 1998 after incorporation — and does not include much of the other maintenance for stormsewer repairs, repaving and other upkeep and miscellaneous repairs.

Before August 1997, when voters opted to become an independent city, the island was dependent on Collier County for all of its services.

“There had been several other attempts at incorporation, but in 1997 a slim majority of residents voted in favor of controlling the affairs of the island from their side of the Jolley Bridge. They believed that we were not being treated fairly in regards to a return of services for the huge amounts of money going off the island to the county’s treasury,” said Bob Brown, city council chairman.

“Some believed our roads, bridges and other infrastructure had degraded due to a lack of attention by the county,” said Brown.

“This community has done an awful lot since incorporation, not only in regards to transportation needs that were neglected, but in parks and recreation, improving our public safety services and other departmental needs for the citizens of the island,” said Brown, “We should be proud of those accomplishments and will continue to work to improve the community and have always stood ready to deal with the county in a fair and equitable manner.”