Sanibel Causeway repair preparations cause traffic backup

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

There are more signs of recovery as the Florida Department of Transportation started work at the Sanibel Causeway Thursday. One lane of traffic was closed, slowing people down as they tried to cross, but it’s a small price to pay for recovery.

Now the question is, how long will this project take? No one likes to sit in all traffic, but they know it is a means to an end because they know getting the causeway repaired once and for all is in everyone’s best interest.

Construction is loud and annoying. “Puts a damper in your day,” said Sonny Pasteryk. The work can also make traffic grind to a stop.

“Oh, it was terrible today,” said Mark.

Sanibel Causeway traffic. (Credit: WINK News)

Usually, construction is done to make things better.

“You have to understand if you want to be able to have our island back, it has to be done. You have to fix the causeway,” said Brad Mackenzie.

Thursday, crews shut down one lane on the Sanibel Causeway, and that caused some pretty big traffic jams.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Adam Rose told WINK News the traffic is short-term pain, necessary for “making sure that we can move forward.”

Rose said crews needed to do the lane closure to collect information engineers need to create a new, permanent causeway design.

“We’re doing some soil borings going through to gather some information on the design of the permanent repairs that are going that we’re kind of in the process of working on at the moment. The crews are also installing steel sheet power walls. The walls themselves serve as a support of temporary roadway repairs,” said Rose.

As for when FDOT thinks the project will be complete, “The goal is to have the construction of permanent repairs completed by the end of this year in 2023. Because the October 19 one was obviously temporary, it was just meant to get everything functioning,” said Rose.

If you want to head to Sanibel, be prepared to sit and wait. That’s the price to pay to ensure safe access to the island once again.

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