The number of vehicles crossing the three-mile Sanibel Causeway to the islands in January was slightly higher than January 2018, according to figures provided to the City of Sanibel by Lee County, which owns the scenic bridge.
The toll booth recorded 305,372 vehicles in January, which is 3,807, or 1.26 percent, higher than January a year ago. However, it is just 585 fewer vehicles than in January 2017. The highest recorded traffic for January was in 2001, with 322,154 vehicles, and that year remains the busiest ever with 3.46 million vehicles counted.
Last year’s traffic decreased by 1.62 percent from 2017 – two years that were plagued with natural disasters. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma landed on Sanibel and tolls were suspended for 11 days. The City of Sanibel declared a state of emergency in August 2018 due to the increasing toxic algae blooms.
February numbers are not yet available and March is solidly underway. March is the causeway’s heaviest month year over year, reaching more than 350,000 vehicles the past four years.