Big Carlos Pass


Big Carlos Pass Bridge FAQs

How high with the bridge be?
The new bridge will have a 60-foot navigational clearance and will be constructed on the Gulf side of the existing bridge.
How long will construction take? 
Construction is estimated to take approximately three years and is estimated to be completed in summer 2026.
Will there be bike lanes or sidewalks on the bridge?
The bridge will have bicycle lanes, as well as a 6-foot sidewalk on the north side of Estero Boulevard and a 10-foot shared use path on the south side of Estero Blvd.
What will happen to the old bridge?
The old bridge will be dismantled and used in creation of an offshore artificial reef.  None of the old bridge will remain.  For more information on Lee County’s artificial reefs, please visit:
How long is the new bridge expected to last?
The new bridge is expected to have a life span of 75 years.
Will there be parking for the beach/pier?  Who will manage this area?
Although, as of June 2023, this area is in the conceptual design phase, there will be parking available for the fishing pier and beach, including three ADA-compliant parking spaces.  Both the fishing pier and the parking area would be managed and operated by Lee County Parks & Recreation.  It is anticipated that the parking lot will have paid parking and restrooms would be provided.  The hours of operation are still to be determined. Lee County understands the concerns from adjacent communities regarding safety, security, trash, and noise, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the design of the parking area and to coordinate to find solutions to shape this area into a quality resource for the citizens of Lee County. 
Click here for a conceptual parking lot plan. 
Will vehicles be able to cross while the bridge is under construction?
Yes, the existing bridge will remain in use until the new bridge is open to vehicles.
When did a fishing pier get approved?
In February 2023 the Lee Board of County Commissioners approved funds to provide a fishing pier as a part of the project, with the goal of maintaining the recreational opportunity afforded by the existing bridge. This decision was made in response to public comment received during the Project Development & Environment (PD&E) study phase. Public comment was received at the Big Carlos Pass Bridge Alternatives Public Workshop (January 2018) and Public Hearing (January 2021).
The Mayor of Fort Myers Beach also supported this addition since with the new fixed-span bridge fishing would no longer be possible.
What will the fishing pier look like?
The pier will be located directly under the south side of the bridge, extending approximately 300 feet over the water, with about 100 feet over the land tucked under the bridge. The pier will be approximately 14 feet wide for the majority of the length, with some additional room provided around the bridge piles.