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Repairs to Sanibel Causeway Finished Early

Sanibel Causeway aerial view

When hurricane Ian invaded Florida late last month, one of the most reported areas of destruction was the Sanibel Causeway, a three-mile-long stretch of road that connects Sanibel Island to the Florida mainland. It consists of three individual bridge spans with two manmade causeway islands in between. The storm caused severe damage and even complete destruction to some areas of the causeway, cutting off access to the island and its 6,300 residents.

Fast response

The Florida DOT quickly enacted a plan to make temporary repairs with support from Governor DeSantis and other agencies. Jacksonville-based Superior Construction and Miami-based de Moya Group worked together to overcome numerous challenges including two large sections of roadway that had to be rebuilt and five approach slabs on two connecting islands.

The first obstacle was clearing debris, and lots of it. One of the project leaders said photos didn’t do justice and there was debris everywhere, preventing access to some parts of the jobsite. Early on workers had to use boats to get from site to site because some areas of washout were so severe. Other challenges included feeding and housing about 150 workers and staff, providing power via generators, and restoring cell phone and internet communications.

A team effort

Materials were dredged and transported to rebuild causeway islands and other areas that were washed out. Ajax Paving, based in North Venice, repaired roadways and laid new asphalt. Many resources to assist in rebuild planning were made available including drones, underwater survey equipment, and barges. Drones were especially essential for tracking progress and surveying jobsites from a high viewpoint.

A job well done

Crews working around the clock and staying in constant communication allowed them to complete the repairs in 15 days. This was 12 days ahead of the target date of October 31st. The repaired roadway offers temporary access to residents and construction workers, but the Superior and deMoya companies are preparing for the second stage of the project, which is a better built and stronger causeway. Plans to be submitted to Florida DOT and Lee County include more resilient seawalls and elevating parts of the causeway.

Information for this article provided by Construction Dive. Read the entire story by clicking here. Image above courtesy of Superior Construction.

October 28, 2022
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