Lee County Embarks on Ortiz Avenue Widening Project

by Sun Bay Paper Staff

Lee County, Florida, is set to undergo a significant transformation with the commencement of the Ortiz Avenue Widening Project. Spearheaded by Lee County’s contractor, OHLA USA, this ambitious initiative aims to enhance transportation infrastructure and accommodate the burgeoning needs of the community. The project, slated to commence this month, will see Ortiz Avenue undergo a substantial expansion from Colonial Boulevard to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

The primary objective of this endeavor is to widen the existing roadway, which currently comprises two lanes, into a more robust four-lane thoroughfare. Additionally, the project entails the establishment of crucial pedestrian amenities, such as a 6-foot side-walk along the east side of the road and a 10-foot paved trail on the west side. These enhancements are poised to not only bolster pedestrian safety but also promote recreational activities and community connectivity.

Identified as a Tier 1 project by the Lee Board of County Commissioners, the Ortiz Avenue Widening Project underscores the county’s unwavering commitment to proactive infrastructure development. The inclusion of on-road bike lanes, new street lighting, and a grass median to segregate traffic underscores the meticulous planning and foresight invested in this initiative. Notably, the roundabout intersection with Hanson Street will remain unaffected by the construction activities, preserving its functionality amidst the transformative changes.

Furthermore, the scope of the project extends beyond surface-level enhancements, encompassing comprehensive drainage improvements and stormwater management facilities. In line with sustainable development practices, the project also incorporates the installation of new water mains and sewer facilities, catering to the evolving needs of Lee County and the City of Fort Myers.

The execution of the Ortiz Avenue Widening Project will be meticulously orchestrated to minimize disruptions to daily commuters and residents. The contractor will adopt a phased approach to construction, endeavoring to maintain one lane open in each direction during peak hours. While two-way traffic will be sustained throughout the project duration, intermittent flagging operations may be necessitated to facilitate construction activities and ensure safety compliance.

Anticipated to reach completion in the spring of 2026, the Ortiz Avenue Widening Project represents a substantial investment in Lee County’s future. With an estimated cost of approximately $31 million, this endeavor symbolizes the county’s proactive stance in fostering sustainable growth and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. As construction commences, stakeholders are poised to witness the gradual transformation of Ortiz Avenue into a modern, efficient, and pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare, poised to cater to the evolving needs of the community for years to come.