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Lehigh Acres workers face long work commute

July 10, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

If you live in Lehigh, chances are you don't work here -- and the drive to your job is a long one.

According to a recent study by, Lehigh Acres is among the top 10 longest work commutes in Florida at 39.2 minutes

The shortest commute is in Marathon with 12.6 minutes and the longest commute is in Kissimmee with 42.3 minutes. The average travel time to work is 27.8 minutes in Florida, according to the study, which used data from the U.S. Census Bureau from 2013 to 2017, which was released during the fall of 2018.

The data was comprised from the American Community Survey asking commuters that reside in a given ZIP code to answer specific questions that were analyzed and computed.

CareerSource Southwest Florida spokesperson Janeth Castrejon said Lehigh Acres is one of the most challenging commutes in the area. She said this is due to traffic congestion that takes place while road improvements are being done, as well as the growth of affordable housing in Lehigh Acres.

"You have more residents in the area that now have to commute into the major areas like Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Collier County. There is quite a bit of traffic, a lot of drivers that take risk on the road. You add that along with the construction taking place to improve the roads, and help with traffic backup, it makes perfect sense and not surprising it (Lehigh Acres) is one of the top 10," Castrejon said. "I don't think we will see improvements until the road is finished. It will probably be a smoother commute in and out."

With approximately 10,037 jobs available in Lee County, as of July 1, residents of Lehigh Acres are going to travel to find work.

"You can buy beautiful property and a nice home for half the price. So, they are able to buy more home for the price, but now the job opportunities are outside of Lehigh Acres," she said.

Examples of jobs posted in Lee County are health care, accommodation and food services, retail trade and educational services.

"Many employers have moved into the area and expanded in the area. There are a lot of opportunities created. A tremendous number of opportunities in Southwest Florida," Castrejon said.



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