July 23, 2020

Busy intersection to get traffic light

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

June 24, 2020

By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor


With Babcock Ranch growing rapidly and the old truck route leading there still two lanes, it isn’t getting any easier to make your way down State Road 31.

However, a long-awaited traffic light at 31 and North River Road/Old Bayshore Road is expected to make things a little easier and safer.

County Commissioner Frank Mann made the announcement last week, giving a shout out to those in the area who decorated their front lawns with signs supporting the light.

“You may have been one of the residents that have been decorating your lawns with the little signs that say, ‘Fight, For the Light.’ Well, you won the fight,” Mann wrote.

This light will be the only traffic signal between Bayshore Road and State Road 70 in Arcadia except for a flasher at Bermont Road in Charlotte County.

Residents nearby sought the signal but before this light could be approved, there were also some issues that had to be cleared up.

North River Road (CR 78) is a county road that intersects with Old Bayshore Road, but SR 31 is under state control. The two agencies of government had to agree on how and when to go about installing a light, said Mann, who was able to facilitate the agreement.

The state had planned a light at that intersection for some time as part of the future widening of SR 31, but recent traffic counts would not justify the requirements for a light placement.

Mann said that traffic resulting from the heavy activity at Babcock Ranch, combined with construction activity at the new gas station about to open right at the intersection, was clearly making the location slow and dangerous. A couple accidents in the area made the need for a light more evident.

Engineering studies are being completed and the equipment for construction is being ordered. The light should be ready to go in September.

Word is still out on when or whether State Road 3 will be expanded to four lanes from Palm Beach Boulevard to as far as Cook Brown Road in Charlotte County.