The Phoenix Flyer

‘There you go, guys’ — DeSantis announces reopening of Sanibel Island crossing

By: - October 11, 2022 3:57 pm

Ron DeSantis announced the temporary reopening of the Sanibel Island bridge on Oct. 11, 2022, as repair equipment made the crossing. Source: Screenshot/DeSantis Facebook

Temporary repairs to the Sanibel Island causeway allowed a convoy of electrical repair equipment to drive to the barrier island Tuesday, far in advance of estimates for placing the structure back in service following Hurricane Ian.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the development during a news conference in Fort Myers, the bridge portion of the crossing featuring as a prominent backdrop. At 1:30 p.m., the equipment began moving in full view of television cameras.

“There you go guys, right behind us, ahead of schedule,” DeSantis said.

The bridge will be reserved for work crews making repairs to downed electrical transmission equipment and water services for now but state officials hope to allow civilian traffic by Oct. 21 — a week from Friday.

“We look forward to the civilian traffic soon. I’m counting down the days,” the governor said.

The convoy included 200 bucket trucks, 150 line and pickup trucks, 50 towed trailers, two tractor-trailers, and first responders, by the governor’s count.

Earlier, the state installed a temporary bridge to allow access to Pine Island, also severed when Ian made landfall on Sept. 28. The Sanibel bridge remained intact but Ian breached the causeway in three places.

“I think statewide now, other than the barrier islands, I think you basically have 1,000 people that are without power in the entire state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.