Posted Originally on the conservative tree house on October 11, 2022 | Sundance
No one imagined this was feasible. Every expert put the timeline for repair at around a year. However, the git r’ done crews and the Florida Dept of Transportation have accomplished a massive feat of reconstruction in phenomenal time. Major kudos to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the construction crews who worked every hour of every day, day and night, for two straight weeks and have created/built a temporary bridge to Sanibel Island. [Videos below]
Trust me, having seen the aftermath, this is absolutely remarkable. The causeway is made up of three bridge spans (A, B, and C) and three spoil islands.
The rapid response construction crews just kept bringing truck after truck of everything imaginable including rocks, concrete slabs, gravel, sand and more to fill in the missing parts of the roadway and spoil islands. Then they surfaced the road and are now working on paving it in record time. Today restoration emergency crews drove across the bridges, and they anticipate opening the causeway to residents of Sanibel for civilian use on October 21st. WATCH:
Today the construction crews moved aside to allow, over 200 bucket trucks, 150 electric line and pickup trucks (LCEC, FP&L, Duke Energy) towing 50 trailers and two tractor-trailers carrying first responders to the island.
Additionally, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was on the Fort Myers side of the bridge to celebrate the accomplishment at a press conference. WATCH:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway will allow a one-time convoy of power restoration equipment, supplies, and crews to access Sanibel Island and continue restoration efforts. Once crews are on the island, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will resume repairs to restore access to the island for residents, which is expected to be complete by the end of this month.
The temporary repairs to the bridge will allow over 200 bucket trucks, 150 line and pickup trucks towing 50 trailers and 2 tractor trailers to move onto the island, along with additional first responders to cross the bridge and aid in recovery efforts while final road repairs are underway. This includes crews from across the state, Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), Florida Power and Light and members of the Florida Electric Cooperative Association.
Last week, at Governor DeSantis’ direction, barges began to deploy to move equipment and supplies to Sanibel Island to restore power and ensure wraparound services like running water are available as quickly as possible. Barges continue to move daily to transport equipment, personnel, and supplies to support recovery operations.
Efforts to restore power to Pine Island are also underway. Last week, the Governor announced that FDOT had established a temporary bridge to Pine Island in less than three days, allowing power restoration crews to access the island and begin repairs. Led by Duke Energy and LCEC, crews have begun to clear debris, lay new lines and replace power poles. By Thursday, LCEC expects to have power restored to one quarter of Pine Island, including the Island’s center, water treatment plant substation and to centrally located grocery stores. Power is expected to be restored to one third of the island and the Matlacha area by next week. (LINK)
Damage on September 30th:
Repairs as of 10/10/22:
Trucks arriving 10/11/22:
Governor DeSantis said leaders started brainstorming different ways more trucks and equipment could be brought to the island other than helicopters and barges. But in the end, different ideas weren’t necessary because the temporary causeway repairs will allow a one-time convoy to cross onto the island.
During a news conference Tuesday in Fort Myers, trucks were seen slowly driving across the bridge — beginning the journey to the island on the Sanibel Causeway.
“Ahead of schedule, it was supposed to be 3 o’clock today they thought they’d get it,” the governor said. “But we’re happy that is something that is being done.”
DeSantis explains the convoy now able to travel on Sanibel Island is a large group, including:
- 200 bucket trucks
- 150 line and pickup trucks towing 50 trailers
- Two tractor trailers
- First responders
This also includes crews from across the state, Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), Florida Power and Light and members of the Florida Electric Cooperative Association.
After crews reach the island, the Florida Department of Transportation will be able to continue with repairs to restore access to the island for residents.
This isn’t the first time relief made its way to the island. DeSantis said barges were deployed last week to move equipment and supplies to the area to restore power and running water. The governor’s office says barges continue to move daily to transport equipment, personnel and supplies. [Media Link]
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Fort Myers to give updates on recovery efforts and announce that temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway will allow a one-time convoy of power restoration equipment, supplies and crews temporary access to Sanibel Island for power restoration efforts. Once crews are on the island, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will resume repairs to restore access to the island for residents, which is expected to be complete by the end of this month. Full remarks can be found here.
There are currently 19,362 reported power outages. In Lee and Collier counties, there are only 1,000 accounts on the mainland that remain without power that can receive it. More than 42,000 linemen have already restored power to over 2.6 million accounts across the state, representing over 99% of accounts restored since the peak.
Yesterday, Governor DeSantis announced that $2.5 million in loans have been awarded to 55 businesses through the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian. Additionally, $126 million will be going to 24 communities across the Panhandle that are continuing to rebuild and strengthen after Hurricane Michael made landfall 4 years ago.
First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised nearly $40 million since activation. To read more info, click here. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222. (read more)
Watch the short video below to see what is happening to restore power on Pine Island: