Built in 1965, the Big Carlos Pass bridge is 52 years old. Due to its age, it is in need of
replacement or rehabilitation. An environmental and engineering process called a Project Development & Environment Study (or PD&E Study) is underway to determine the social, economic, natural, and physical effects associated with this project.
Once the PD&E Study is completed, Lee County will select a preferred alternative. The County will present the preferred alternative and no-build/rehabilitation alternative at a public hearing to solicit further comments and input. After the hearing, the final documentation will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for approval. If the alternative is approved (unless the no-build/rehabilitation alternative is selected) the project will advance to the design, right-of-way acquisition and then construction phases if funding allows.
The PD&E Study is expected to be completed in summer 2019. Once the study is complete, if an alternative other than the no-build/rehabilitation alternative is selected, the design and permitting phase will begin and is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months. Construction is anticipated to take two to three years, pending final selection of a bridge type.
The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) pursuant to 23 U.S.C. §327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 14, 2016 and executed by the Federal Highway Administration and FDOT.