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Lee County could see millions in fed stimulus funds

By Staff | Mar 27, 2009

Lee County is expected to receive a substantial chunk of federal stimulus money for road projects.
The Florida Department of Transportation district which includes Lee County will receive between $150 million and $175 million, though it is unclear how much of the money Lee will receive.
There are 12 counties in District 1, which Lee County sits in. The northern-most county in District One is Polk, and the southern-most is Collier. Coastal counties include Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte.
Florida DOT spokeswoman Debbie Tower said the details of the stimulus will come into focus soon. The department is waiting on a list of selected projects that will receive funding.
“Once we have an approved list, then we’re ready to get going and put these projects out to bid,” she said.
Expected to be on the list are two major projects in Southwest Florida, including the Metro Parkway extension in Fort Myers and the Judge S.S. Jolly Bridge on Marco Island.
Tower said the department has long considered the Metro Parkway extension a priority.
“We’re looking at Metro extension as a strong candidate in Lee … Metro Parkway would definitely be the largest project in Lee County,” she said.
The project list would likely include a majority of smaller scope projects, such as bike paths, sidewalks, road resurfacing, drainage improvements and new turn lanes.
The number of potential jobs related to the projects is difficult to calculate, according to Tower. The department uses a formula to calculate the number of jobs for any particular project, depending on the project’s cost.
“Until we have a specific dollar amount we won’t be able to calculate the number of jobs,” she said.
The Metro Parkway extension is expected to be on the list of approved projects, though Tower could not officially confirm that.
She expects the full list to be released soon.