FDOT’s Hurricane Ian Sanibel Island emergency repairs up for AASHTO award

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Online voting is open until Nov. 14 and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is looking for support to win the people’s choice award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation (AASHTO).

After Hurricane Ian, the FDOT team reconnected the Sanibel Island communities by completing emergency repairs in 15 days. 

AASHTO, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognize projects and programs with awards focused on getting more out of the existing system; implementing new technologies and innovations; and projects that improve overall quality of life and enhance community development.

Now in its 16th year, the America’s Transportation Awards showcases “why transportation infrastructure–and why properly funding it–is so vital.”

In September 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida and severed the Sanibel Causeway in five places, eliminating all vehicle access to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

Residents and business owners were cut off from their properties, and first responders could only be transported by helicopter to deliver emergency supplies.

In the aftermath of the storm, the Sanibel Causeway desperately needed to be restored for daily life to resume. Florida DOT’s $64 million project in Lee County quickly repaired the causeway, allowing people to get back home and saving the local economy by reinstating access to shops and restaurants. The emergency restoration to the Sanibel Causeway brought a level of normalcy back to local residents after the horrific storm that upended their lives.

Click the link to vote for the People’s Choice Award.Winners will be announced at the 2023 AASHTO annual meeting in Indianapolis. Winners of those top two prizes will each receive $10,000 to donate to a charity or scholarship of their choice.

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