EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with additional details on access to the Sanibel Causeway.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced this morning, Oct. 19, the Sanibel Causeway will reopen at 11 a.m. today for island residents with a 2021 or 2022 hurricane pass or valid identification with a Sanibel address. The announcement comes two days ahead of the original scheduled date, Friday, Oct. 21.
DeSantis said it took 36,000 work hours to make the repairs to the causeway after sections of it were washed away by Hurricane Ian. The state will continue working with Lee County, which owns and operates the bridge, on permanent repairs.
Now through Oct. 30:
• Inbound access is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for residents, private contractors and emergency contractors.
• Outbound access is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for all. There is one outbound lane from Sanibel and the causeway. There are two outbound lanes on McGregor Boulevard.
• Emergency contractors only can access the causeway from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., which aligns with the new Sanibel curfew and existing Captiva curfew.
Nov. 1 onward:
• Monday and Tuesday of each week essential response personnel only are permitted to cross the causeway. That includes emergency vehicles, debris management, electric providers and water and sewer utility providers
• Wednesday to Sunday of each week residents, business owners, property owners and private contractors will be allowed to cross the causeway. Inbound access will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
View the detailed map for checkpoints and traffic patterns to access Sanibel via the causeway.
A curfew remains in effect between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. No vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians are permitted on the streets during curfew hours, except for essential response personnel.
What to expect when on Sanibel:
• Law enforcement presence
• Large construction vehicles traveling throughout island
• LCEC bucket trucks restoring power poles and powerlines
• 20 mph speed limit
• Traffic congestion throughout Sanibel
• Slow speeds through areas where essential personnel are working
• Yield to emergency crews
• Debris throughout the island
• Bicyclists, low speed vehicles, and pedestrians in roadway
• No food services
• No gasoline stations
• Displaced wildlife
• ATVs, UTVs, side-by-sides and golf carts which are not legally registered to operate on city streets are prohibited
The City of Sanibel asks residents, property owners, businesses, and private contractors to strictly adhere to the established reentry procedures, including reentry passes, inbound traffic patterns, and all traffic laws, and to obey all law enforcement directives.