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Golden Gate Estates Community gets chance to say where it wants bridges over Estates canals

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avatarUdut, Kenneth -- on Jul. 1 2008, from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.

I hope they have a list of locations somewhere --Ken (this article is a repost)

Community gets chance to say where it wants bridges over Estates canals


Monday, June 30, 2008

Fire trucks can’t jump canals.

But brush fires can, and they make no consideration for the limitations of emergency vehicles.

To level the playing field, Collier County’s Transportation Planning division is looking at bridging canals to create improved access for everyone from emergency responders to residents running out for a gallon of milk.

Tuesday, the department will hold a public meeting as part of the East of C.R. 951 Bridge Study, seeking public opinion about the need for new road connections in Golden Gate Estates. In all, 12 locations are under study. They are spread out from Frangipani Avenue at 23rd Street S.W., to 40th Street N.E. at 62nd Avenue N.E.

In developing the locations, the department asked for opinions from fire departments, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, school leaders, and parks and utilities officials.

“Everyone’s priorities are a little bit different,” Principal Planner Lisa Koehler said. “The school district is looking for bus efficiency. The fire departments say another bridge is needed to improve response time.”

One of the bridges, at 62nd Avenue N.E. near 40th Street N.E., was suggested by the Big Corkscrew Island Fire Control and Rescue District.

“It could reduce our response time to citizens by giving us a more direct route of travel,” Big Corkscrew Fire Chief Rita Greenberg said. “It would allow (residents) another possible means of egress depending on road closures.”

And for some residents, that could mean lower premiums on homeowner insurance.

After a wildfire in May tore through 800 acres and destroyed three homes in Golden Gate Estates, Koehler said, residents have been increasingly supportive of the plan to add new road connections.

Tuesday’s meeting, she said, will aim to capture more public input and get a better sense of which bridges belong at the top of the priority list.

“No agency is agreeing on that number one ranking,” she said. “Is it emergency response? Is it mobility? Is it efficiency? That’s what we’re wanting to know from folks ... We want to know what their concerns are.”

With a ranking in hand, the Transportation Planning department will turn to the Collier County Commission in September to get approval for the priority list. The findings will first go before the East of C.R. 951 Horizon Study Committee, which is conducting the overall study that includes the bridge issue.

However, even with approval for a new bridge, there is no guaranteed time frame for construction.

“It’s subject to funding,” Transportation Planning Director Nick Casalanguida said. “I can tell you right now, repair is the number one priority.”

He said his department will apply for grants to pay for bridges, particularly as county government tightens its belt along with other cash-strapped municipal governments across the state.

“If they rank and they get adoption by the board of county commissioners, we’d do all of them now (if we have the money),” Casalanguida said.

However, the plan may have a long road before it gets to that stage, he pointed out. Aside from funding sources, the county also will have to take into consideration what impact a new bridge would have on a street. If just one bridge is built in the entire study area, Casalanguida said, that could place an unfair burden on the connecting streets that once were dead-ends.

The top priority will be the public benefit, he said.

“What we want people to know is, we work for you guys,” he said. “We’re trying to make things better. Staff really wants to get across that this is us reaching out to make the community better.”


If you go: Bridge Study meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Oakridge Middle School, 14975 Collier Blvd. Meeting will l include a brief presentation to be followed by an open question, answer and feedback period

© Naples News
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Golden Gate Estates Community gets chance to say where it wants bridges over Estates canals I hope they have a list of locations somewhere --Ken (this article is a repost)