Cape Coral to North Fort Myers roadway works toward smoother connection
Bill Smith, Fort Myers News-Press Published 9:00 a.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019 | Updated 12:24 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019
A contractor has been picked and work will begin soon on realigning Kismet Parkway and Littleton Road connecting Cape Coral and North Fort Myers. (Photo: Lee County graphic)
Work to create a smoother connection between Kismet Parkway and Littleton Road, connecting Cape Coral and North Fort Myers, is expected to begin by Christmas.
It is a joint project between the city of Cape Coral and Lee County that could lead to additional project partnerships intended to alleviate traffic congestion issues.
County commissioners have awarded a $2 million contract to Thompkins Contracting to provide a direct link from west to east from Kismet to Littleton and a southbound connection to Corbett Road.
The city is kicking in another $2.5 million for the project under an agreement between the two government agencies. Lee County has a $500,000 credit as part of the agreement with Cape Coral in connection with developing a road from the unincorporated county to the Tarpon Point conference center.
A roundabout will replace an awkward intersection, and that means east- or westbound traffic must make a quick in-and-out maneuver on north/south NE 24th Street to continue the east/west journey.
The project will mean a Kismet/Littleton road that takes a more direct route from El Dorado Boulevard in Cape Coral easterly to U.S. 41 and Business 41 in North Fort Myers.
The existing path has proven to be dangerous; county official say there have been 20 crashes over a five-year period.
A monument to a 15 year old boy killed five years ago while riding his bicycle on Kismet Parkway. (Photo: Melissa Montoya/The News-Press)
Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said cooperation between the county and Cape Coral may lead to more roadway improvements in the near future.
"We've been working with them for quite a while now to identify even beyond the Littleton/Kismet connection other projects that are going to help with traffic congestion," Desjarlais said. "We hope in the coming year we will have others to bring to you."
Commissioner Brian Hamman, who represents the district that includes the project, said the people living in the northern segments of the two communities have been hoping for some help at the intersection.
"A man came up to me at church and said 'Wow you're going to get Kismet and Littleton realigned,'" Hamman said. "You really care about us folks up north, I didn't think anybody would really think about that one."
In addition to reconfiguring the roads and creating a roundabout, new sidewalks will be built, linking streets in individual neighborhoods. As with most road projects in recent years, bicycle paths will be part of the project and drainage improvements.
Completion of the work is expected by late fall 2020.