People line up in traffic for hours to return to Matlacha

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Matthew Seaver

There is only one roadway to get onto Matlacha, and it is a busy one with a combination of people returning and construction to repair it.

On Monday, people traveled in stop-and-go traffic on and off the island as road crews began the process of repaving the road that Hurricane Ian washed out.

Getting onto the island was also slow because of a Lee County Sheriff’s Office checkpoint that was looking at driver’s licenses to ensure only people who belonged on the island could return.

Among the people WINK News saw returning were residents, cleanup crews, business owners and insurance adjusters.

One of the people making the trip was expecting a long delay.

“Just standing here in line, probably for two hours until we got here, so it’s a lot of stop-and-go. Initially it was really hard to get through because there was no police there so everybody was trying to find a way how to get past there.”

The crews working on the roadways said they don’t have an exact timeline of when the work will be done, but they said they plan to work long hours to get the road done as quickly as possible.

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