Fort Myers Beach, Estero Blvd Construction Update August 27th 2018

With September right around the corner, we know that it won’t be long and the Snowbirds will return to Fort Myers Beach to escape the cold winters. I am sure they will be shocked to see how little has been accomplished  with the construction on Estero Blvd while they were gone.

Currently, there are over 2 1/2 miles of the island are under construction. That’s 2 1/2 miles of 1 lane (each direction) , barrel-lined, cement barrier road that looks like it is nothing more than a parking lot for Bateman’s construction equipment. At any given day, there are 40 pieces of “driveable” construction equipment stretching the 2 1/2 miles. This is not counting storage containers, port-a-potty’s, piles of supplies, dump trucks, tractor trailers or personal vehicles of the constriction workers. No, this is just the backhoes, rollers, dozers, bobcats, front-end loaders, etc. With that much equipment sitting around, you would think that they would be able to really be making progress. Unfortunately, this is not the case. On the “productive” day, the most workers I’ve counted was 18 and that included flaggers, truck drivers that were sitting and waiting with their engines running, men lounging on equipment looking at their phones, groups standing around talking, as well as a few that do nothing other than sit in the shade under a tree.

Is there any accountability for Bateman Construction?

Why is no one holding this company accountable for their snail-pace that they are moving at?  Each week “ReFresh” sends out their fabricated timeline and goals for the next week. Does anyone ever check the email and see if they managed to accomplish what they “claimed” they would accomplish?

Don’t bother talking to Tracy Hayden from Cella Molnar, unless you like wasting your time!

I remember months ago contacting Tracy Hayden from Cella Molnar & Associates, Inc. for the reFRESH project and asked her about how much longer the road would be “torn up ” by Donora and Red Coconut and she replied ” What do you mean by “torn up”? I haven’t seen it being torn up”. Being that she is in construction management, you would think that she would understand what the phrase “torn up” means. Once I explained what I meant by “torn up”, she informed me that the construction would be completed by the end of the season. (March 2018)  Obviously, that was not true.  Here we are getting ready to go into the NEXT season and it is still “torn up”.
I wondered why this project wasn’t done in the evenings. We were told it was because of the turtles. So one of the times I called Tracy, I asked her this question. Her reply was “it was too dangerous”. This is truly laughable. Huge construction projects are completed in the evening with lights that can make the job site illuminated like it is daylight,  but for some reason, this company just can’t do anything to help the residents of this island.  I have since stopped calling her as I never received any honest answers from her. She actually told me that I was the only one who has called her to complain.
If you take a look at the video above, you will see that this clip in the video is from from Dec. 11, 2017, Wink News and the road in the area that I am talking about, was “torn up” and causing severe traffic delays. You will see current video clips from Sunday 8/26/18 and will notice that it is still torn up and littered with construction equipment,  almost 9 months later.  Here is a link to the Wink News article, click here.

2.5 Miles of Estero Blvd is currently “torn up”

Since they made the decision to expand the construction zone to 2 1/2 miles, you would think with the 70 million dollar budget that they would have enough money to hire more employees. Instead, they will have a few men work on a small project for a few hours and then they will move on and no one will be back at that location for weeks, possibly months.
Residents of Fort Myers Beach wonder just who is in charge of this construction project and what is really going on? We do not know and we know Tracy Hayden doesn’t know so then who does know? I think it is time that the Fort Myers Beach Town Council request Bateman Construction to come in and explain what is the delay and why they do not hire more employees and why they are using Fort Myers Beach as a parking lot for their equipment. Someone needs to hold this company accountable.

Why was Bateman Construction chose for this project? They are not the best nor the cheapest!

Soon we will be back to the gridlock traffic and we will still be told that  they are ahead of schedule.
It really makes me wonder WHY were they selected in the first place since they were not the cheapest and we obviously know that they couldn’t possibly be the best.