by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes
Traffic has been a little lighter this summer compared to the unprecedented traffic Sanibel experienced in 2021. The latest Sanibel Causeway toll report shows the number of vehicles counted was down by 5.3 percent from May to July compared to those months last year.
Traffic started to drop in May, when the number of vehicles declined by 6 percent. In that month, 303,569 vehicles traveled through the toll booth – a difference of 19,588 vehicles compared to the same month last year.
Traffic continued to drop in June with a 7 percent decrease versus last year. The 279,042 vehicles counted that month is 21,746 less vehicles than in 2021. And traffic was slightly down in July with a total of 299,834 vehicles counted – a 2.5 percent difference compared to the record-breaking July last year.
The overall number of vehicles counted from January to July is at 2.2 million, which is up 0.79 percent or 17,242 more vehicles compared to the historic first seven months of 2021. While traffic is slightly up compared to last year, it’s 5.5 percent higher than 2019, prior to the COVID pandemic.
Lee County owns and operates the scenic bridge and Causeway Islands A & B, which have been undergoing an $8.5-million makeover. The improvement project is in its second phase, which has concentrated on parking. Stabilizing portions of the shorleine was the focus of the first phase.
Originally slated for completion June 20, 2024, that date has been changed to Dec. 31. 2024. Project plans can be viewed here.