Florida’s Sanibel Causeway to reopen by end of October

Dive Brief:

  • The Sanibel Causeway in southwest Florida, rendered impassible by Hurricane Ian, will be repaired and usable by the end of October, according to the state DOT. The storm wrecked five different portions of the 3-mile series of bridges, which link Sanibel Island to the mainland, when it made landfall on Sept. 28.
  • Florida DOT awarded a contract on Tuesday to begin immediate repairs on the span, the city of Sanibel said in a press release on Oct. 5. Construction Dive reached out to the agency to ask what company is doing the repairs and how much they will cost, but did not get a response as of publication time.
  • The emergency fixes anticipated to be completed this month are temporary, and will enable access to Sanibel Island for its roughly 6,500 residents and first responders. The state will then start long-term repairs, according to the release. Transportation corridors are now passable through almost all of the state, Florida DOT said in the release.

Dive Insight:

The emergency fixes underway right now on the Sanibel Causeway will tie into work that is needed for permanent repairs, according to the release. The most severe storm damage includes a roughly 50-foot section of bridge span which collapsed as well as major erosion on one of the causeway islands. 

“The Sanibel Causeway was affected when the land that the road was built on was washed away,” said Florida DOT Secretary Jared Perdue in the release. “A bridge stability analysis will be performed, and repairs needed range from repairing bridge approaches to restoring the roadway across most of the causeway.”

Similar damage was sustained on Pine Island Road on the nearby island of Matlacha, where Ian washed the road away. For now, a temporary bridge has been constructed and opened for public use Wednesday afternoon, said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a press conference. 

Florida DOT said it has completed inspections on all state-owned bridges, and the agency is now assisting with locally owned bridge inspections

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