Florida Construction News staff writer
Temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway allowed a one-time convoy of power restoration equipment, supplies and crews temporary access to Sanibel Island for power restoration efforts, Gov. Ron DeSantis said in an Oct. 11 update in Fort Myers.
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 October.
At the beginning of this week, there were 19,362 reported power outages and 42,000 linemen have already restored power to over 2.6 million residences and businesses across the state.
Florida Department of Transportation crews came to the area from across the state and have completed 2,500 bridge inspections, restored thousands of traffic signals and made more than 5,000 miles of state roads passable for emergency crews.
Access was restored to Pine Island withing three days after the hurricane.
Also, $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 and $126 million will be going to 24 communities across the Panhandle continuing to rebuild and strengthen after Hurricane Michael made landfall 4 years ago.
Since the storm hit, the Florida Disaster Fund has raised about $40 million and contributions can still be made at www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text to 20222.
Additional programs that have been put into place to aid communities include the activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the initiation of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof, and FDOT’s work to construct temporary bridges into areas that are cut off by damage or flooding.
Desantos also provided an update on work completed so far on infrastructure that was impacted by Ian:
- All accessible State-owned bridges have been inspected across Florida. FDOT continues to assist with inspections on locally-owned bridges.
- 97% of cut and toss operations are complete statewide
- 100% of cut and toss operations are complete in Lee County.
- 100% of cut and toss operations are complete in Charlotte County.
- Access restored to Pine Island Bridge in just over 50 hours/ under 3 days.
- Construction has begun on the Sanibel Causeway.
Initial debris pick-up on 3,116 miles of State Roads have been completed statewide.