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About This Feasibility Study
In March 2021, the Lee County MPO in partnership with the City of Bonita Springs and the Village of Estero, commissioned a consultant team to begin the Study to analyze the long-term feasibility of a public multi-use trail within the Seminole Gulf Railway (SGLR) corridor south of Alico Road or alternatively in the adjacent surrounding areas. The Study is funded by a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Sun Trail Program with local matches from the City of Bonita Springs and the Village of Estero.
The study area boundaries include Bonita Beach Road (south), Alico Road (north), US 41 (west) and I-75 (east). The proposed trail will pass through south Lee County into north Collier County through the City of Bonita Springs and the Village of Estero. Concept alternatives will identify right-of-way (ROW) impacts, security measures, maintenance procedures, and environmental impacts. The preliminary analysis evaluated trail connectivity, project readiness, service, and the user experience. The study also collected data on ROW, planning-level costs, rail-trail crossings, and existing utilities. The three alternatives include a rail-to-trail alignment, a rail-with-trail alignment, and a trail alignment adjacent to existing roadways.
History of this Study
The Rail-Trail Feasibility Study is the culmination of nearly a decade of planning efforts and public discussions to select a public transportation option for the SGLR corridor. In 2013, the Lee County MPO assessed the long-term feasibility of adding public transportation options within the existing SGLR corridor across all of Lee County. The study examined several alternatives that could co-exist with freight rail including light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit and a multi-use Trail.
Schedule and next Steps
The estimated completion date for the Rail-Trail Feasibility Study is November 2022. The Lee County MPO will be accepting public comment until March 16, 2023.
More information about the project will be presented at the following meetings:
- December 7, 2022 – Village of Estero Council Meeting at 9:30 am, 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle, Estero
- January 18, 2023 – Bonita City Council Meeting at 9 am at City Council Chambers, 9101 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs
- February 21, 2023 – MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinating Committee Meeting at 10:00 AM, Collaboratory, 2031 Jackson Street, Fort Myers
- March 2, 2023 – MPO Technical Advisory Committee at 9:30 AM, Green Room, Cape Coral Public Works Building, 815 Nicholas Parkway East, Cape Coral
- March 2, 2023 – MPO Citizens Advisory Committee at 3:00 PM, Green Room, Cape Coral Public Works Building, 815 Nicholas Parkway East, Cape Coral
- March 17, 2023 – MPO Board Meeting at 9:00 AM, Lee County Administration East Facility, 2201 Second Street, Room 118, Fort Myers. The final report will be accepted by the Board at this meeting.
For project-related questions and comments on the three (3) trail alternatives –
Alternative #1 (Rail to Trail),
Alternative #2 – Rail with Trail, and
Alternative #3 (Trail Alignment Adjacent to Road)
please email: Rgogoi@leempo.com