Positive changes to take place in Immokalee

Collier County District 5 Commissioner, Bill McDaniel listens as Representative, Diaz-Balart spoke at the Immokalee library giving details about the $13 million that Immokalee was awarded. (Submitted photo/Lewis Perkins)

On March 29, Collier County District 5 Commissioner, Bill McDaniel and Representative, Diaz-Balart spoke at the Immokalee library to give details about the $13 million that Immokalee was awarded in a Federal TIGER, (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), grant. Thanks to both men who know and constantly fight for the needs of the Immokalee community. Most important, since the majority of citizens in Immokalee walk, the grant will be used to create 20 miles of concrete sidewalks on the following roads: Madison Ave., W Alachua St., Jefferson Ave., Broward St., Adams Ave., Charlotte St., Washington Ave., Dade St., Roberts Ave., Flagler St., Jerome Dr., Glades St., S 9th St., Hendry St., and Stockade Rd.

The grant will also be used to create a one mile of shared-use path, which will provide a place to walk, bike, and skate. Additionally, 20 miles of drainage, ditch and swales, will be upgraded. Furthermore, the grant will provide help people who take public transportation by providing 22 bus shelters, including construction of a bus transfer station at the Immokalee Health Department located at 419 N 1st St.

Commissioner McDaniel further adds the grant will enhance the streets of Immokalee by providing: “Comprehensive lighting improvements that include five miles of street lights in over 120 intersections… and five miles of bike boulevard network…”, which is a network designed to make riding a bike safer when riding near traffic. The grant will also provide: “35 benches, and 25 bike racks, 32 intersection enhancements…” including new signage. “This initiative, with the congressman’s assistance, and Collier County’s contribution… {is} direly needed…” for the community.

Representative Diaz-Balart states: “It was a tough year for South Florida… the good news is that it will recover. We passed the most generous Hurricane bill in the history of the country…TIGER is usually a small portion of programs and this one is huge.” Diaz-Balart has been pushing for this money to be sent to Immokalee for years but did not find encouraging progress. He attributes the new administration and particularly to the secretary of transportation, Elaine L. Chao, for helping Immokalee obtain this grant. Immokalee’s community can look forward to these positive changes.

Lewis Perkins is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and can be reached at ibnews@newszap.com

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