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Daniels Parkway Extension




Daniels Road Extension from Gateway Boulevard to SR 82 and Gunnery Road has been a long standing component of Lee County’s transportation plans to provide access from Lehigh Acres to Fort Myers, and in particular to south Lee County. Lehigh Acres is a large residential community with limited job and shopping opportunities, creating extensive travel demand to Ft. Myers and south Lee County.


The major constraints in avoiding all wetland impacts were the required intersection with Gunnery, the power transmission poles located in the easement, the buffer requirements for the SWFIA and minimum road curve radii for safety design purposes. To meet all design constraints and avoid all wetland impacts was not possible, so impacts were minimized as much as possible.


Another consideration was the possibility of protected species being in the area, especially the endangered Florida Panther. In addition to assisting with the road design and alignment BEC also conducted protected species surveys of the alignments, located wetlands, assessed wetland impacts, and secured environmental permitting from the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.


On site mitigation opportunities were reviewed. The original plans for this phase included numerous ponds located along the length of the roadway. These ponds served as detention and mitigation areas. During pre-application discussions with the SFWMD, the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this concept was presented. All agencies indicated that the ponds were maintenance problems and served as potential attractants for listed wading birds immediately adjacent to the road. Lee County DOT was advised to pursue other mitigation alternatives. Off site mitigation was discussed and initial agency comments were favorable.