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DeSantis: Sanibel Causeway will have access by end of October

In this aerial photo taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday, parts of the Sanibel Causeway are washed away along with sections of the bridge.
Joe Raedle
Getty Images
In this aerial photo taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday, parts of the Sanibel Causeway are washed away along with sections of the bridge.

Access to the Sanibel Causeway, breached in several places by Hurricane Ian, is anticipated by the end of October, information from the governor's office said.

A notice issued from the city of Sanibel quoted a memo from the office of Gov. Ron DeSantis: "It is anticipated to have the Sanibel Causeway accessible by the end of October. Once immediate recovery efforts have subsided, permanent long-term repairs will be made to the causeway."

The memo said that the emergency repairs being done now will offer a safe passage for immediate access and will also be incorporated into long-term repair plans with repairs being done now tying into work that will be needed for permanent repairs.

DeSantis directed FDOT to prioritize repairs to the Causeway, the notice released by Sanibel officials said, and announced that the contract for the bridge repair was awarded.

"These repairs are needed for first responders and Sanibel residents to access the island, as well as other recovery efforts such as power restoration and debris removal," the notice said.

matlacha 2.jpg
Work is progressing on a temporary repair of the Matlacha Bridge connecting the mainland to Pine Island. It is expected to be done by Oct. 8.

Progress on the similarly breached Matlacha Bridge was noted by DeSantis in the memo and used as encouragement for the Causeway project:

“FDOT has already made tremendous progress on the temporary bridge to Pine Island. Now, I’ve asked them to work with Lee County to immediately begin work to provide temporary access and begin repairs to the Sanibel Causeway. Access to our barrier islands is a priority for our first responders and emergency services who have been working day and night to bring relief to all Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian.”

“FDOT is proud to play a part in restoring our communities across the state. The Pine Island bridge is well on its way for completion. I’m confident we can provide the same level of service for the Sanibel Island community,” said Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “Much like Pine Island, the Sanibel Causeway was affected when the land that the road was built on was washed away. A bridge stability analysis will be performed, and repairs needed range from repairing bridge approaches to restoring the roadway across most of the causeway. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Lee County and helping them take another step towards recovery.”

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