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Interstate 75 South - Lee County

Interstate 75 south
Florida 78 constitutes a 18.94-mile route between Lee County 765 (Burnt Store Road) in west Cape Coral and Florida 31 by the Lee County Civic Center. The road carries two lanes east of I-75 and up to six lanes west of Exit 143.
Sections of County Road 78 exist both to the west and east in Lee County. A second State Road 78 segment also exists between U.S. 27 in Glades County and U.S. 98 & 441 in Okeechobee County. Photo taken 03/04/14.
Interstate 75 south reaches Florida 78 (Exit 143). SR 78 west navigates through North Fort Myers and Cape Coral.
North Fort Myers is an unincorporated area lying along the Business U.S. 41 corridor near the north banks of the Caloosahatchee River. Cape Coral lies further west and is the largest incorporated city in Lee County with over 150,000 residents. Photo taken 03/04/14.
Motorists are advised of the first of four Fort Myers based interchanges at the I-75 crossing of Stroud Creek. Florida 80 (Exit 141) is another trans-peninsular route. It links Fort Myers with Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast. The state road totals 123.90 miles across the state, passing through the towns of La Belle, Clewiston, and Belle Glade on its eastward trek to Palm Beach.
Fort Myers was named after Abraham Myers, a colonel during the Seminole Indian Wars in the 1850's, and has hosted many famous winter residents, including Thomas Edison and Henry Firestone. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Interstate 75 prepares to cross over the Caloosahatchee River. The diamond interchange (Exit 141) with Florida 80 (Palm Beach Boulevard) ensues in 1.25 miles, immediately south of the river. Photo taken 07/05/11.
The 67 mile long Caloosahatchee River meanders from near Lake Okeechobee westward through Glades and Hendry counties before entering Lee County near the community of Alva. The river widens to over one mile wide as it makes its way west and eventually southwest toward the Gulf of Mexico. A dredged canal links the Caloosahatchee River with Lake Okeechobee. Photo taken 01/02/06. Second photo taken 07/05/11.
The twin spans that carry Interstate 75 across the Caloosahatchee River provide outstanding views of the surrounding area as well as a glimpse at the high rise condominium buildings that now make up the downtown area of Fort Myers. The Seminole Gulf Railway (SGLR) bridge crosses the Caloosahatchee River approximately one mile west of I-75. As well as running freight, the railroad is also known by locals and visitors for its murder mystery dinner train themed excursions. This part of southwest Florida is also known for its abundance of royal palms, which line many arterial and local roads throughout the city. Because of the abundance of royal palms, Fort Myers is often referred to as the City of Palms. Photos taken 07/05/11.
The limited-access freeway reaches Florida 80 (Exit 141). Also known as Palm Beach Boulevard, Florida 80 links the interstate with Downtown Fort Myers, where the state road meets its end at U.S. 41. SR 80 east takes motorists toward LaBelle, located 24.4 miles from I-75 along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in adjoining Hendry County. Photo taken 07/05/11.

Continuing south, Interstate 75 next encounters Luckett Road (former Lee County 810) in 1.25 miles. Widening of the freeway southward from the Caloosahatchee River included the replacement of ground level signs with new overheads by winter 2014. Photo taken 07/05/11. Second photo taken 04/01/14.
Passing underneath Tice Street, Interstate 75 south inches closer to Naples, now within a 40-mile drive. The city of Bonita Springs lies at the south end of Lee County and is about a 30-minute drive from this location.
This mileage sign was removed during widening of I-75 during 2013-14 Photo taken 07/05/11.
The freeway passes to the east of Billy Creek Commerce Center as it approaches the diamond interchange (Exit 139) with Luckett Road. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Truckers and travelers depart for Luckett Road (Exit 139). The east-west road was county-maintained west 0.8 miles from Interstate 75 to Ortiz Avenue (unsigned CR 765). CR 810 was generally unsigned during its existence. Photo taken 07/05/11. Second photo taken 04/01/14.
At the apex of the Luckett Road interchange, the first guide sign (and its replacement) Florida 82 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard) come into view. 2011 completed construction from Exit 139 south to Florida 884 (Exit 136) yielded the addition of one travel lane in each direction. Photo taken 07/05/11. Second photo taken 03/04/14.
A reassurance marker for Interstate 75 south posted between Luckett Road and Florida 82 (Exit 138). Photo taken 04/01/14.
Florida 82 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard) constitutes a 29.88-mile route beginning at U.S. 41 in Downtown Fort Myers, stretching east and southeast skirting the southern edges of Lehigh Acres before ending at Florida 29 in northeastern Collier County. Immokalee is reached via SR 82 east and SR 29 south. Photo taken 03/04/14.
Interstate 75 south reaches the departure ramp for Florida 82 (Exit 138). Prior to being named Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Florida 82 west of the interstate was known as Anderson Avenue. Though not mentioned, travelers can reach nearby Lehigh Acres via Florida 82 east to Lee County 884 (Joel Boulevard) east. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Less than two miles separate the interstate from Florida 82 and the upcoming Florida 884 interchange at Exit 136. Photo taken 03/04/14.
I-75 continues southward through the eastern portions of Fort Myers as it quickly approaches Florida 884 (Colonial Boulevard). Photo taken 07/05/11.
A major east-west arterial, Florida 884 (Colonial Boulevard) links Interstate 75 with the southern reaches of Fort Myers and Cape Coral to the west and Lehigh Acres and Alva to the east and northeast. Not shown on signage, Florida 884 east of I-75 immediately succumbs to county maintenance and becomes Lee County 884. Lee County also maintains the portion west of the single point urban interchange with U.S. 41 in Fort Myers through to the western terminus of Florida 78 in west Cape Coral. Photo taken 03/04/14.
Florida 884 (and Lee County 884) consists of six overall lanes from Interstate 75 west to McGregor Boulevard along the Caloosahatchee River. Photo taken 03/04/14.
Going east from Exit 136, Lee County 884 was expanded into a six lane arterial 2.3 miles to its intersection with Florida 82. The center of Lehigh Acres lies 10.6 miles to the east via CR 884 and Homestead Road. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Just south of Florida 884 (Exit 136), Interstate 75 plies across Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Photo taken 07/05/11.
The city of Naples is ever closer and now within 35 miles of the interstate. The upcoming interchange with Daniels Parkway (Exit 131) is the current way to get to Southwest Florida International Airport. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Travelers are advised of the approaching rest area facility located immediately east of Exit 131. Another facility exists in 67 miles along the tolled portion of Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley) in Collier County. A left-lane restriction is also in place for commercial trucks until Pine Ridge Road (Exit 107), 25 miles ahead. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Interstate 75 approaches Lee County 876 (Daniels Parkway) in 1.25 miles. The county road lines Daniels Parkway west from Treeline Avenue, indirectly connecting Cape Coral with the freeway via Cape Coral Parkway and Florida 867 (McGregor Boulevard). Photo taken 07/05/11.
Travelers bound for Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) are directed onto Daniels Parkway east from Exit 131 to Treeline Avenue (former CR 885) south. The passenger terminal for the airport is accessed from Treeline Avenue. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Entering the partial-cloverleaf interchange (Exit 131) with Daniels Parkway on I-75 south. The adjacent rest area is accessed via Lee County 876 east. CR 876 west constitutes a six-lane arterial bisecting commercial and residential development through to U.S. 41 and Florida 867 (McGregor Boulevard). Photo taken 07/05/11.
The six-lane freeway continues south toward Alico Road (Exit 128) and Estero (10 miles). Photo taken 12/23/13.
Construction to build a new collector distributor roadway appears at the 1.25-mile guide sign for Exit 128 as part of I-75/Airport Direct Connect project underway. The roadway will carry traffic to both Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Alico Road (Exit 128). Scheduled completion of the project is Spring 2015. Photo taken 12/23/13.
A new trumpet interchange will directly link Interstate 75 with an extension of Terminal Access Road from Southwest Florida International Airport. Photo taken 03/04/14.
As part of the improvements for over 30 miles of I-75 in the late 2000s, the original folded-diamond interchange was expanded into a six-ramp partial-cloverleaf interchange allowing for greater traffic capacity. Photo taken 01/02/06. Second photo taken 04/01/14.
Motorists leave for Alico Road and Exit 128 via a two-lane ramp. The unincorporated San Carlos Park is situated between I-75 and U.S. 41 south of Alico Road. Use Alico Road east to Ben Hill Griffin Parkway south to reach Gulf Coast Town Center shopping mall, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), and Germain Arena (home of the Florida Everblades ECHL franchise). On August 18, 2014 the entrance to the Alico Road off-ramp was shifted 1.7 miles north, funneling traffic onto the collector distributor roadway associated with the Airport Direct Connect interchange.1 Drivers will now use the c/d roadway to access Alico Road (Exit 128) and once it opens Terminal Access Road. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Corkscrew Road (former Lee County 850) lies three miles ahead along Interstate 75 south. Estero, centered around the Corkscrew Road and U.S. 41 cross roads, follows in five miles. Naples is now a mere 25 miles ahead. Photo taken 11/22/12. Second photo taken 07/05/11.
The 2009 built Estero Parkway overpass comes into view as Interstate 75 begins its approach to Corkscrew Road (Exit 123). The roadway was extended from Three Oaks Parkway to Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Corkscrew Road (old CR 850) extends two miles west from Interstate 75 to U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) in Estero. Koreshan State Park is located just west of the U.S. 41-Corkscrew Road intersection.
Corkscrew Road continues east 19.5 miles to Florida 82 (Immokalee Road), with the easternmost 3.75 miles doubling as Collier County 850. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Southbound motorists depart I-75 for Corkscrew Road (Exit 123). Miromar Outlets (retail center) exists by the northeast quadrant of the diamond interchange. Motorists can also access nearby Germain Arena via Corkscrew Road east and Ben Hill Griffin Parkway north. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Continuing south of Exit 123, Interstate 75 skirts the eastern edge of the Estero area on the nine-mile drive to Bonita Springs. Photo taken 11/22/12. Second photo taken 07/05/11.
1.25 miles north of the diamond interchange (Exit 116) with Bonita Beach Road (CR 865) on Interstate 75 south. The east-west arterial links I-75 with the city of Bonita Springs and nearby beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Lee County 865 (Bonita Beach Road) stems west from Interstate 75, penetrating Bonita Springs before turning northwest along Hickory Boulevard near Barefoot Beach. The county road eventually makes its way northwestward to Fort Myers Beach, where the route turns north via San Carlos Boulevard back toward Fort Myers. Two state-maintained portions (Florida 865) exist in the Fort Myers area as well. Photo taken 07/05/11.
The freeway reaches Lee County 865 (Exit 116) west to Bonita Springs. The county road is fairly commercialized west of Exit 116 while heading east yields residential subdivisions for the first 3.5 miles.
Bonita Beach Road comes to an end 5.1 miles east of I-75 in the middle of undeveloped land. The road was extended due to increased housing construction in the area but when the economic bust occurred in the late 2000's development along the corridor ceased. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Several golf course communities line both sides of Interstate 75 over the next five miles. Photo taken 11/22/12.
Naples is now just 11 miles away, with Collier County 846 (Immokalee Road) and Naples Park preceding the county seat at the next two exits. Photo taken 11/22/12.
Interstate 75 enters Collier County one mile south of Lee County 865 (Exit 116). It traverses nearly 64 miles of the county on its south and eastward trek to the east coast and the greater Fort Lauderdale-Miami metropolitan area. Photo taken 07/05/11.



Sources:

  1. "Alico exit relocation first part of project to open", Fort Myers Newspress, August 18, 2014.
Photo Credits:
  • 2006-01-02 by AARoads.
  • 2011-07-05 by AARoads.
  • 2012-11-22 by AARoads.
  • 2013-12-23 by AARoads.
  • 2014-03-04 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.
  • 2014-04-01 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.

Page Updated 08-19-2014.

 
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