Marco Island council awards $4M contract for Yellowbird Street reconstruction project

Signage on Yellowbird St. informs drivers trucks weighting over 10,000 pounds are not allowed on the street.

Marco Island City Council authorized the city manager to award a contract for the reconstruction of Yellowbird St. to Wright Construction group for over $4 million.

The first estimate for the project was done nine years ago for $3.5 million, said Public Works Director Tim Pinter during the City Council meeting. 

"We do have a construction contract in front of you to start working on Yellowbird," Pinter said on Feb. 18. "It's only taken us since 2011 but we are there."

Pinter told the Eagle the design and contract award process was about twice as long as it would normally be.

"We hired Holemontes to do the design of the roadway portion of Yellowbird initially," Pinter said. "Part of that work was to do a pavement evaluation."

"It came back that we need to do a full-depth replacement," he continued.

"That's when we discovered that the utilities would probably be affected," Pinter said. "So [...] the roadway portion of the design stopped because we couldn't advance any further and the [...] Utility division hired Holemontes to do the utility relocation portion."

"Then we combined the two (designs) and put them out to bid."

The project will also include redoing the narrowest portion of the sidewalk, upgrading it from four feet wide to five feet wide.

Councilor Larry Honig said residents on Yellowbird are concerned about its heavy traffic. Honig said that on a previous meeting he presented a photograph of a roundabout used in the Lake Park area of Naples.

Councilor Howard Reed, on the other hand, said the city should first consider less-expensive measures to lower traffic on Yellowbird.

"There are many ways to modify people's behavior and get the results we want that don't involve concrete," Reed said. "There are ways to change the speed limits; you can put a sign that says 'no trucks,' you can do enforcement."

Since 2018, trucks weighting over 10,000 pounds are not allowed on Yellowbird. 

From 2018:Yellowbird closed to large trucks

Jared Grifoni, City Council vice-chair, said the city should also consider measures to encourage drivers to use main roads

"If we are looking to [...] encourage traffic on the main roads, we need to make it easier for them to get where they need to go," Grifoni said. "I don't know if that means by looking at [...] the left turn arrow on Elkcam [...] and then the left turn over by Bald Eagle on Elkcam." 

Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.