Blind Pass Erosion Project Moving Forward; LCEC Replacing Utility Pole

by SC Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen and Publisher Shannen Hayes

The City of Sanibel has accepted a bid for a permanent fix of dangerous shoreline erosion along Sanibel Captiva Road, south of Blind Pass. From the four bids that were received, the city accepted one at a cost of $1,307,410 with nearly all of the funding coming from tourism tax dollars. Construction is scheduled to begin March 1 and be completed by May 1.

A temporary barrier was installed in December, when the erosion reached a critical point. Although some have called the quick-fix barrier “unsightly,” Natural Resources Director James Evans said it’s doing the job.

The Lee County Electric Cooperative has been monitoring its utility pole located in the area, across the road from Lazy Flamingo parking lot, due to the erosion. As a result of existing conditions and the pole being a critical piece of infrastructure, LCEC will be removing the existing pole and replacing it with a 75-foot concrete self-supporting structure.

The work is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 17, and Tuesday, Feb. 18. LCEC contractors will prepare and dig holes for the new structure on Monday, then transporting the structure on a semi-truck to the site around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Due to the required equipment for the work, there will be an impact to traffic. However, LCEC does not expect any power interruptions.

“The schedule is to have all the work completed, including setting the new self-supporting structure, removal of the old pole, transferring the overhead wires to the new structure and demobilize the contractors and equipment late Tuesday,” said LCEC Key Account Executive Tricia Dorn.

“In efforts to achieve this aggressive schedule, we appreciate the City of Sanibel authorizing night work to complete this project so the city can move forward with its emergency project in the same area,” said Dorn.

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