Sanibel causeway open to civilian traffic three weeks after Hurricane Ian

Ron DeSantis
'It’s not a vacation spot for us, but it’s our home.'

The bridge leading to Sanibel Island, which was broken in three places by Hurricane Ian three weeks earlier, is opening to civilian traffic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement replete with a test run for the first civilian vehicles. Emergency workers and power restoration crews were able to access the island last week after temporary repairs were completed.

“These repairs, while temporary, are really going to help the residents of this island get back on track,” DeSantis said. “When you have real significant damage like that you can’t let it toil for months without attention. We needed to get people back as soon as possible.”

The reopening of the causeway, slated for at 11 a.m. Wednesday, came ahead of the original goal of Oct. 31 and the time frame of Oct. 24 set by DeSantis in announcing the completion of the temporary repairs last week.

“It’s really incredible what you accomplish when you cut through the red tape … and you align behind a common set of goals, a common mission to help people,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, who has been overseeing the repairs.

Restoring power to Sanibel and Captiva islands, however, could take longer.

DeSantis said parts of those islands, including critical buildings such as fire stations and an elementary school, could see their lights come back on later this week. But other areas of the islands, such as north Captiva, where an underground power grid was completely destroyed, likely won’t see electricity return until November.

The return of the bridge, though, is crucial for Sanibel residents.

“It’s not a vacation spot for us, but it’s our home,” said Troy Thompson, whose father owns a restaurant on Sanibel. “The causeway is our lifeline and without it we’ve had no opportunity to get back to the island, to get back to our homes. We’ve been stranded in town for three weeks now and it means everything to get back.”

DeSantis and other officials acknowledged permanent repairs to the causeway will take much longer, and so will repairs to infrastructure, homes and businesses on the island.

“We are not a flash-in-the-pan agency,” said Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “We will be here for years to come.”

Gray Rohrer


  • Elliott Offen

    October 19, 2022 at 11:13 am

    It’s not your home anymore you dumbass. It got wiped out and it will get wiped out again eventually. God bless the USA… freedom for the rich, freedom t-shirts and freedom to be as stupid as you want for everyone else.

  • David In Shoreline

    October 19, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    One of the largest and most powerful hurricanes to hit Florida and the Sanibel causeway is already re-opened. Honestly people are going to start writing folk songs about Governor DeSantis. He is simply that amazing.

  • Yrral

    October 19, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    Just when ,you thought it was safe too go into the water in Lee County, Google Lee County Florida Flesh Eating Bacteria

Comments are closed.


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