Florida State Road 865
|Maintained by FDOT|
|Length:||4.641 mi (7.469 km)|
|South end:||Fort Myers Beach|
|North end:||SR 867 in Iona|
|Length:||1.156 mi (1.860 km)|
|South end:||US 41 near Fort Myers|
|North end:||SR 739 near Fort Myers|
Originally a continuous state road extending from Bonita Springs to Tice, Florida and serving Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach, State Road 865 (SR 865) now consists of two segments connected by a part of County Road 865 (CR 865). Both the state and county controlled segments of the route combined stretch a distance of nearly 40 miles, making it the longest designation in Lee County.
Southern section (Fort Myers Beach)
Locally known as San Carlos Boulevard, the 4.8-mile-long southern section of SR 865 provides the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area access to Estero Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The southern terminus is an intersection with Estero Boulevard (CR 865) in Fort Myers Beach, just east of Bodwitch Point Park; after crossing the Matanzas Pass Bridge and San Carlos Island, SR 865 forms the western boundary of Estero Bay Preserve State Park adjacent to Hurricane Bay.
San Carlos Boulevard then intersects with Summerlin Road (CR 869), which is a grade-separated Single-Point Urban Interchange, with Summerlin Road crossing above on an overpass. Summerlin Road is a highway that connects Fort Myers with Sanibel Island via the Sanibel Causeway.
The southern section of SR 865 continues northward its northern terminus, an intersection with McGregor Boulevard, which is SR 867 to the northeast of the intersection, and CR 867 to the southwest, a more direct route connecting downtown Fort Myers to the popular Sanibel and Captiva islands.
Northern section (South Fort Myers)
Extending only 1.1 miles (1.8 km) in South Fort Myers, the northern section of SR 865 is locally known as Ben C. Pratt/Six Mile Cypress Parkway. The western terminus is an intersection with US 41; the eastern terminus is an intersection with Metro Parkway (SR 739). This portion of Six Mile Cypress Parkway historically served as the first mile of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad's Punta Rassa Branch. Though this section runs in east–west route, it is still signed as a north–south route to be consistent with the adjacent county-controlled segments.
Historic State Road 865 and County Road 865
Until the 1980s, State Road 865 signs were posted along a much longer highway. In the mid 1970s, FDOT designated three large sections of then-SR 865 as secondary routes, which started a process in which these designated sections would be converted to county control. This was part of a series of transformations that particularly affected southern Florida.
Bonita Springs & Fort Myers Beach
The historic southern terminus of SR 865 is an interchange between Interstate 75 (SR 93) and Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. From there SR 865 followed Bonita Beach Road westward, through Bonita Springs and to Hickory Boulevard on Bonita Beach (Little Hickory Island), near the Gulf of Mexico shore. Motorists traveling north along then-SR 865 then cross the Bonita Beach Causeway, which passes over Big Hickory Island, Long Key and Black Key, which provides access to the Lovers Key / Carl E. Johnson State Park. Once on Estero Island, former SR 865 passes through the town of Fort Myers Beach before connecting to San Carlos Boulevard (current southern portion of SR 865) on the north end of the island.
South Fort Myers
From San Carlos Boulevard, the middle section of former SR 865, known as Gladiolus Drive, continued 17 miles (27 km) eastward from Iona through Harlem Heights and Biggar. Near Biggar, it intersects with Summerlin Road (CR 869) again at an intersection with two left-turning flyovers. It passes by Lakes Park before intersecting with US 41, connecting with Six Mile Cypress Parkway (current northern portion of SR 865)
East Fort Myers & Tice
Beyond the northern section's terminus at SR 739, historic SR 865 continues along Six Mile Cypress Parkway and turns north passing the Lee County Sports Complex, which contains Hammond Stadium, the spring training home of the Minnesota Twins major league baseball team. As it turns north, it parallels the Six Mile Cypress Slough. At Colonial Boulevard (SR 884), historic SR 865 becomes Ortiz Avenue and parallels Interstate 75 to its northern terminus, an intersection with Palm Beach Boulevard (SR 80) in Tice. Parts of Ortiz Avenue were originally signed State Road 80B before being connected to the rest of SR 865.
The entire route of SR 865 came into existence incrementally over the span of many decades. Gladiolus Drive originally existed to serve gladiolus fields in the Iona and Biggar areas of Fort Myers. Lee County was once known as the gladiolus capital of the world, with the A&W Bulb Company being once of the major operators of the fields.
San Carlos Boulevard was built in 1927 to serve as a more direct route from McGregor Boulevard (SR 867) to Fort Myers Beach, replacing an earlier route that traversed present-day Bunche Beach. Estero Boulevard, San Carlos Boulevard and Gladiolus Drive were first designated State Road 278 in 1935. State Road 278 would become State Road 865 during the 1945 Florida State Road renumbering. The northernmost 0.2 miles (0.32 km) of San Carlos Boulevard (in Iona) was renumbered SR 867 when McGregor Boulevard was realigned slightly south in the early 1980s (Old McGregor Boulevard is the former alignment). Gladiolus Drive would also be realigned to the south in the early 1990s (Paul Schultz Way is the former alignment of Gladiolus Drive).
Estero Boulevard reached the southern tip of Fort Myers Beach by 1950. Upon the completion of the Bonita Beach Causeway in 1965, the SR 865 designation was extended south from Fort Myers Beach through Bonita Springs along Hickory Boulevard and Bonita Beach Road. Bonita Beach Road was developed in the 1950s as Bonita Springs main east–west thoroughfare.
The construction of Six Mile Cypress Parkway was the final link in the entire route, which opened around 1978 to provide improved access from the area to Interstate 75 (which opened in 1979). With the completion of Six Mile Cypress, Gladiolus Drive was realigned to the north at the intersection with US 41. The SR 865 designation then continued along Six Mile Cypress, which ran east along a former railroad spur, then turned north along the Six Mile Cypress Slough to connect with Ortiz Avenue (which existed previously as State Road 80B).
The entire route from Bonita Springs to Tice would only be designated SR 865 for a short time before the state relinquished portions to the county.
The entire route is in Lee County.
|Bonita Springs||0.000||0.000||east end as inventoried by FDOT|
|0.1||0.16||I-75 (SR 93) – Naples, Tampa||Exit 116 on I-75|
|0.9||1.4||Imperial Parkway (CR 881)|
|1.9||3.1||Old 41 Road (CR 887) - Everglades Wonder Gardens||Former US 41|
|3.6||5.8||US 41 (South Tamiami Trail / SR 45)|
|4.4||7.1||Vanderbilt Drive (CR 901 south)|
Fort Myers Beach
|Big Carlos Pass Bridge over Big Carlos Pass|
|Fort Myers Beach||17.897||28.802||Fifth Street - Beaches||South end of state maintenance|
|Matanzas Pass Bridge over Matanzas Pass|
|||21.019||33.827||CR 869 (Summerlin Road) – Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers, Lakes Park||interchange|
|Iona||22.538||36.271||SR 867 north / CR 867 south (McGregor Boulevard) – Sanibel, Captiva||North end of state maintenance|
|Biggar||25.9||41.7||CR 869 (Summerlin Road) – Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva||flyovers for left turns from CR 865|
|||27.4||44.1||US 41 (South Tamiami Trail / SR 45)||South end of state maintenance|
|||28.5||45.9||SR 739 (Metro Parkway / Michael G. Rippe Parkway)||North end of state maintenance|
|||30.2||48.6||CR 876 (Daniels Parkway) to I-75 – International Airport, JetBlue Park|
|Fort Myers||35.3||56.8||SR 884 (Colonial Boulevard) to I-75 / US 41|
|37.0||59.5||SR 82 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) – Fort Myers, Immokalee|
|38.3||61.6||To I-75 / Luckett Road (CR 810)|
|Tice||39.6||63.7||SR 80 (Palm Beach Boulevard) to I-75|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- FDOT straight line diagrams Archived March 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., accessed March 2014
- "Florida 865 & Lee County 865". AA Roads. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Turner, Gregg M. (December 1, 1999). Railroads of Southwest Florida. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing.
- General Highway Map, Lee County, January 1976, reprinted January 1980
- Comingore, Joyce (18 February 2013). "Hunting gladiolus in the former Gladiolus Capital of the World". Cape Coral Daily Breeze. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "A Short History of Fort Myers Beach". Town of Fort Myers Beach. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Lee, 1936". Florida Center for Instructional Technology. University of South Florida. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Lee Middle, 1936". Florida Center for Instructional Technology. University of South Florida. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "South Drawbridge". Estero Island Historic Society. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "A Short History of Fort Myers Beach". Town of Fort Myers Beach. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Wadsworth, Chris; Fortuna, Allison (2008). Bonita Springs. Arcadia Publishing.
- "Florida 884 - Colonial Boulevard". AA Roads. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- FDOT GIS data Archived index at the Wayback Machine., accessed January 2014
- Google Maps distance