Temporary repairs to Sanibel Causeway allow trucks to get to hurricane-ravaged island

Hurricane Ian ripped up the Sanibel Causeway and left the only pathway to the island damaged in three locations.
A section of the causeway leading to Sanibel in Lee County was knocked out by Hurricane Ian.
A section of the causeway leading to Sanibel in Lee County was knocked out by Hurricane Ian. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Oct. 11, 2022

A slow march of utility trucks headed to Sanibel Island Tuesday afternoon following temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway, which was broken in three locations during Hurricane Ian.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the opening of the causeway — the only road pathway to the island — at a news conference in Fort Myers on Tuesday. As he spoke, trucks moved in the background above his head.

The bridge will need further repairs, and will be open for broad public traffic on Oct. 21, DeSantis said.

Jared Purdue, the Florida Department of Transportation secretary, said the bridge structure was in good shape after the hurricane, but the land part of the causeway needed repair. Engineers deemed the bridge safe for passage for the support convoy, he said.

While the causeway was unpassable, the state had to fly in search-and-rescue teams and electrical workers. DeSantis said his administration also spoke with the federal government about getting an amphibious landing craft, which they would have used this week had the causeway not been cleared for passage.

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Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Ian coverage

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FEMA: Floridians hurt by Ian can now apply for FEMA assistance. Here’s how.

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POST-STORM QUESTIONS: After Hurricane Ian, how to get help with fallen trees, food, damaged shelter.

WEATHER EFFECTS: Hurricane Ian was supposed to slam Tampa Bay head on. What happened?

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