by SC Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen
The Sanibel-Captiva Road Emergency Shoreline Protection Project, just south of Blind Pass, is on schedule to completed by May 1 – prior to the start of sea turtle nesting season – according to a city memo by Director of Natural Resources James Evans and Deputy Public Works Director Scott Krawczuk.
Although there were delays from complications with the installation of a Lee County Electric Coop power pole and the locations of utility lines, water lines and fiber optic cables in the project area, the contractor was able to compensate with quicker delivery time of materials due to the lower volume of traffic associated with the virus pandemic.
Evans and Krawczuk state in the memo that the contractor has installed 459 Truline vinyl sheets and all galvanized rebar, as well as completed the top cap of the seawall. Sand has been placed at the western end of the project area between Mad Hatter and the western end of the seawall.
The next steps include installation of the rock revetment followed by the placement of approximately 5,000 cubic yards of sand on top of the revetment and along the western end of the project area. After the sand has been deposited, more than 3,000 plants will be installed in the dune area.
“We are currently obtaining quotes for the dune vegetation work and plan to have a contractor selected to begin work just prior to the rainy season,” the memo stated.
Rope and bollards and signage will be placed around the project area to protect the dune area until the vegetation is established. Public access will be maintained along the western end of the project once complete.
In addition to protecting Sanibel-Captiva Road, which also serves as the evacuation route for Captivans, the permanent barrier will safeguard residences and businesses in the immediate area. The project is the result of a State of Local Emergency enacted by Council in December and will cost $1.4 million with funding provided by the Lee County Tourism Development Council.