Let the fun begin.
For months the Florida Department of Transportation has been closing off various intersections on the north side of SR-82 that lead in to Lehigh Acres. Now it’s time to close the access points on the south side of SR-82 that lead in to Gateway.
At 2:00am on Monday, September 10, Griffin Drive will be closed off to traffic both to and from SR-82. The closure is expected to last two weeks, with FDOT officially saying that the intersection will re-open at 5:00am on Monday, September 24.
Said FDOT: “As part of FDOT’s State Road (SR) 82 widening project from Lee Boulevard/Colonial Boulevard to Shawnee Road, crews will need to install drainage and construct new roadway at the intersection of SR 82 and Griffin Drive in Lee County. This work will require the closure of Griffin Drive at the SR 82 intersection.”
FDOT went on to recommend using Gateway Boulevard should you need to leave or enter Gateway from the north.
Using Gateway Boulevard to go on to SR-82 during rush hour is already pretty ridiculous. Closing Griffin Drive for two weeks will only exasperate the situation.
Complicating matters is that the SR-82 and Daniels Parkway intersection are a mess right now as well. Many Lehigh Acres residents have been using Gateway as a pass-through to get to and from parts of Fort Myers while that intersection gets sorted out.
But if all that traffic is now supposed to go out to SR-82 via Gateway Boulevard, it’s easy to envision a traffic nightmare during rush hour.
Once Griffin Drive is re-opened, we get to do it all again (probably in October and November) as Gateway Boulevard will be closed at SR-82 for about two weeks as well.
As a person who spends a good part of his day running things from Gateway to Lehigh and vice-versa, this construction has been extemely annoying.
Honestly, if it was just Griffin (or Gateway Blvd) that was closed it would be bad, but not unbearable. But the one-two punch of those being closed combined with the Daniels and 82 intersection taking 5-6 minutes per light cycle is really, really inconvenient.
Try doing that like 4 to 10 times per day.
If you’re trying to get to Colonial during rush hour I would definitely go west on Commerce Lakes Drive to Plantation Gardens Drive and then take a right on Treeline. (Pro tip: this route also serves as an excellent by-pass of jetBlue Park during spring training games.)
And don’t forget, Gateway does have four exits to the south which all lead on to Daniel’s Parkway as well.
This construction is going to continue to suck. No doubt. And it’ll get worse with the Griffin and Gateway Blvd closures.
But in the grand scheme of things, these traffic delays are very much what some people like to call “first world problems”.
So we should all take the upcoming weeks in stride and remember how good life is here in SWFL… but I’ll definitely be glad when this roadwork on SR-82 is over.