AP

Sanibel Island causeway washed out by Ian reopens early

Oct 18, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2022, 9:25 am

FILE - In this aerial photo made in a flight provided by mediccorps.org, damage from Hurricane Ian ...

FILE - In this aerial photo made in a flight provided by mediccorps.org, damage from Hurricane Ian is seen on the causeway leading to Sanibel Island from Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 30, 2022. The causeway has reopened with temporary repairs. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 the three-mile (4.8-kilometer) causeway suffered severe damage from the Category 4 hurricane, with initial predictions that repairs could take months. Instead, the work took just three weeks. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

SANIBEL, Fla. (AP) — The causeway washed out by Hurricane Ian that links Sanibel Island to the Florida mainland reopened with temporary repairs on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

The 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) causeway was badly damaged by the Category 4 hurricane, with initial predictions that repairs could take months. Instead, the span reopened just three weeks after the storm blew ashore Sept. 28.

“It’s something that shows a little bit of a can-do spirit,” DeSantis, a Republican, said at a news conference, adding that government bureaucracy should not hamper such efforts.

“The work that has been done to restore vehicle access to Sanibel Island has been historic,” the governor added.

Sanibel Island is home to about 6,300 people. The storm killed more than 100 people in Florida, many of them in Lee County, where Sanibel and its famed seashell beaches are a top tourist destination.

One lifelong Sanibel resident, Troy Thompson, said having the causeway back will really help the barrier island because so much recovery work remains.

“The causeway is our lifeline. It means everything to get it back,” said Thompson, operations manager at his family’s Lazy Flamingo restaurant.

The governor’s office said 100 crews worked around the clock to repair the causeway, which includes three separate bridges. Workers used 8,200 loads of fill dirt, 2,400 loads of rock, and 4,000 tons of asphalt.

The Florida Department of Transportation will continue to work on a permanent fix for the causeway, officials said. Power restoration, debris removal and other recovery efforts will be much easier with the temporary causeway repairs, they said.

“There is hope,” said Cecil Pendergrass, chairman of the Lee County Commission. “We will rebuild.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe t...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law

A Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes.

2 days ago

Image: Bruce Nordstrom, left, and Jeannie Nordstrom attend the Nordstrom NYC Flagship Opening Party...

Associated Press

Bruce Nordstrom, who helped grow family-led department store chain, dies at 90

Bruce Nordstrom, a retail executive who helped expand his family's Pacific Northwest chain into an upscale national brand, has died.

3 days ago

Image:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime min...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Netanyahu arrest warrant; Assange can appeal; UK blood scandal

The International Criminal Court said it is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

3 days ago

Image: In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Ebrahim Raisi attends a m...

Associated Press

Iran president and others found dead at helicopter crash site, state media says

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday.

3 days ago

Photo: Shawna Williams, owner of Free Range Cycles, poses outside her shop on May 6, 2024, in Seatt...

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press

Bike shops boomed early in the pandemic. It’s been a bumpy ride for most ever since

For the nation's bicycle shops, the past few years have probably felt like the business version of the Tour de France, with numerous twists and turns testing their endurance.

4 days ago

Image: A person wears a T-shirt with the names of Kristin Smith, Charity Lynn Perry, Joanna Speaks,...

Associated Press

Man probed in deaths of women in northwest Oregon indicted in 3 killings

A man who has been under investigation in the deaths of four women whose bodies were found across northwest Oregon has been indicted.

4 days ago

Sanibel Island causeway washed out by Ian reopens early