In the Know: What's with all those pipes around Immokalee Road and Logan Blvd.?
Logan Boulevard's been a busy spot, with all types of road work.
Of course, the debut earlier this year of the new extension connecting Bonita Beach Road in Lee County to Immokalee Road in Collier County serves as the biggie.
Now in recent weeks, quite a few of you have noticed more activity. Here's a couple of the observers:
"What is going on on Logan Boulevard, both north and south of Immokalee Road with the installation of the large black pipe? It is also being installed along the canal adjoining Immokalee Road," reader Bob Weaber said. "I enjoy your columns and look forward to reading them."
Well, thank you for the compliment, Bob.
"What is going on along Logan Boulevard between Vanderbilt (Beach Road) and Immokalee Road? Looks they are laying huge black pipes," Joe Funigiello, of Naples, said. "What are they used for?"
Hey, where's my compliment, Joe? Gotta keep up with Bob.
So Bob and Joe, here we go.
Remember all that development I've been writing about in that region moving in faster than a sneeze through a screen door? Yeah, wear a mask please.
All this massive growth is part of it. Those pipes are to handle the flow of all the new toilets coming into the area.
"The purpose is to provide additional capacity to accommodate growth along the Immokalee Road corridor and operational flexibility in the wastewater collections system," said the considerate Connie Deane, community liaison for the Collier County Growth Management Department. "The project is expected to be completed in summer of 2021."
The county projects another 160,000 residents or so over the next 20 years. That, by the way, equals the same number of incoming commodes, according to the U.S. Census. Since 1970, we've gone from two people per john to one each. With me in the house, my wife's glad about that. His and hers.
And who knows if we'll exceed those population projections for the 206.89 square miles that encompasses the current wastewater service area?
For example, a new trend I previously reported has evolved in the pandemic era of residents flocking to Southwest Florida and rural areas to get away from the tight spaces of bigger cities.
So there's the boom I've mentioned around Immokalee and Collier Boulevard. But then just keep going east on Immokalee between the Orangetree area and about Oil Well Grade Road, where there are fewer streets and lots of green. Loosely bordered by Lake Trafford to the north and Golden Gate Boulevard to the south is a region that could bring in an additional population larger than the current city of Naples within just a decade, Collier records show.
The Rural Lands Stewardship Area — which will also get development — can be found in that northeast region, which is also the future home of the county's third constructed full-service water reclamation facility that should approach the $100 million range in a half-dozen years or so.
This pipe project in progress off Immokalee Road would allow for diverting wastewater flows to that new place. An interim wastewater treatment plant is currently in the works next to the fairgrounds adjacent to the new, evolving Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park slated for completion next year.
To illustrate how much we're flushing, we're talking four miles of big tubes underground in that Immokalee and Logan area, and you see them alongside the highway ready for placement.
"To alleviate the conveyance constraint of the 12-inch force main along Immokalee Road, the (plan calls) for the construction of a 24-inch force main," said Zamira DelToro, project manager for Collier's Public Utilities Engineering and Project Management Division. "Eliminating the 12-inch bottleneck results in an increased capacity of approximately 176%."
That sure sounds like we sit atop the throne a lot. The feds estimate 60 gallons of wastewater per day per person. What are you people eating?
Now for the price tag for Naples-based Quality Enterprises USA Inc. to do its business with this pipe project, which was covered in a 226-page county commission agenda item: $9,858,072.
It's either that or we can smell like Paris, the aspect no one talks about before visiting there, distracting us with the hubbub of the wonderful bakeries and that City of Lights or City of Love nonsense. Yo Frenchy, I'd love for you to use an actual bathroom s’il vous plaît 'cause this certainly ain't that baguette aroma mentioned in this here pamphlet. Thanks to COVID-19, we're not going to be welcome there for awhile anyway.
Don't forget to vote Tuesday
Tuesday's an important day for growth and development, whether you're OK with how they're managed or would rather have tougher or looser laws regarding those topics.
My daddy, who as an immigrant has experienced various forms of government, reminders me regularly about treasuring the freedoms that come with living in the United States. That includes casting your ballot in the primary.
You can learn about who's on there by going to the online home page of this paper.
So here's your reminder to vote if you haven't already done so, and that leads to a trio of questions, among those you shared with me.
The first comes from very kind reader Betty Hughes, who told she enjoyed my recent candidates article. Maybe she's being too kind to me.
She had an interesting inquiry: What would happen if a candidate passed away before Tuesday's primary? Would the opponent in the primary win that match-up by default?
Taking a look at the Florida codes, it sure seems that way, but as we've seen in very recent years, anything can be challenged in court.
Quoting from state Division of Elections rules, a party could only nominate a replacement if "death, resignation, withdrawal, or removal should cause a party to have a vacancy in nomination which leaves no candidate for an office from such party."
Naples resident and Michigan transplant Bob Golliher and I had a back and forth this past week via iPhone, and I wish it would have been tennis. But I'm not very good at that. Why is the net necessary?
A guy who cares about Democracy like me, Golliher is concerned about his 30-year-old signature at the elections office and whether his ballot could get "tossed" out of the voting game.
"I read your piece every week," Golliher said, not clarifying whether it's a home run or a strikeout in his book, just that he's subjected to all the digressions one way or another. "I filled out my voters registration info in 1991 when I moved here. I have changed the way I write my “G” in my last name. Will someone toss out my ballot because the signatures are different?"
"Master G. My mellow." Sorry for digressing, Bob G. Couldn't help but recall "Rapper's Delight", performed right here in Southwest Florida last year by the Sugarhill Gang.
Yes, while not needing to be an "exact" replica, signatures must "reasonably match" what's on record, according to the Collier elections office. Go to its site to begin the process of updating your John Hancock. If you search keywords "Collier voter signature," it should be at the top of your Google results.
Based at the Naples Daily News, Columnist Phil Fernandez (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes In the Know as part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Support Democracy and subscribe to a newspaper.