Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the early completion of emergency road and bridge repairs for Pine Island, getting the job done in just three days’ time.
On Sunday, Gov. DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to work with Lee County to expedite work and complete repairs by Saturday, October 8.
Work began on Monday and FDOT crews worked hard to finish the repairs in monumental timing, in less than three days.
“Within 24 hours after I asked FDOT to get involved, we had more than 130 trucks rolling in and crews got to work,” said DeSantis.
“We made it a priority and we didn’t just get it done – we got it done quick.
“I want to thank the dedicated FDOT crews for working around the clock to restore the community’s access to Pine Island.”
“Hundreds of loads of sand and rock, various pieces of heavy equipment, and dedicated crew members have literally helped pave the way to recovery for this community,” said FDOT Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E.
“The Department was honored to be called to help support Florida’s communities in their greatest time of need.
“We are proud to have worked alongside our partners, Lee County, and deliver on our promise of reconnecting this community to the mainland as quickly as we possibly could.”
Construction on the Pine Island bridge has been completed today – just three days after construction began.
Happy to have the state step in and help get our Pine Island residents back on their feet. pic.twitter.com/a8GqPoHtP1
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 6, 2022
DeSantis issued a statement that said:
“Hurricane Ian completely devasted the area and cut off access from the mainland to this barrier island, which prevented necessary services and supplies from being driven directly into the community.
“FDOT and Lee County expedited emergency repairs to the road and bridges that provide motorists access to Pine Island.
“With construction complete, emergency personnel, utility trucks, and FDOT’s Cut and Toss crews now have access to make the island safe and secure for the 9,000 residents of Pine Island to soon begin returning to their homes and start their recovery.
“Once immediate recovery efforts have subsided, permanent repairs to the Pine Island Bridge will be constructed.
“While the permanent replacement is expected to take some time to complete, the work completed this week provides safe and immediate access.”
DeSantis also said a contract to begin repairs to the Sanibel Causeway was awarded.
“FDOT has already made tremendous progress on the temporary bridge to Pine Island,” DeSantis said.
“Now, I’ve asked them to work with Lee County to immediately begin work to provide temporary access and begin repairs to the Sanibel Causeway.
“Access to our barrier islands is a priority for our first responders and emergency services who have been working day and night to bring relief to all Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian.”
To give you an idea of how amazing an accomplishment rebuilding this bridge was, this is what the Pine Island bridge looked like 4 days ago👇 pic.twitter.com/YdOUl09Klw
— RRH Elections (@RRHElections) October 6, 2022
“FDOT is proud to play a part in restoring our communities across the state,” said Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E.
“The Pine Island bridge is well on its way for completion.
“I’m confident we can provide the same level of service for the Sanibel Island community.
“Much like Pine Island, the Sanibel Causeway was affected when the land that the road was built on was washed away.
“A bridge stability analysis will be performed, and repairs needed range from repairing bridge approaches to restoring the roadway across most of the causeway.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Lee County and helping them take another step towards recovery,” he said.
We have launched a Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program with $50 million available to provide short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses impacted by #HurricaneIan.
To apply for assistance, visit: https://t.co/vkTEpFq74I
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 5, 2022