Lee BOCC OKs funding for San-Cap Road project
Following the recommendation from the Lee County Tourist Development Council, Lee County commissioners recently voted to approve funds for nearly the entire cost of Sanibel’s emergency shore protection project along Sanibel-Captiva Road near Blind Pass.
At its Jan. 21 meeting, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners voted in support of an out-of-cycle, Beach and Shoreline funding request for $1,398,450 from the city for Tourist Development Tax reserve funds to protect against continued beach erosion south of the pass and in a critical erosion area.
“They voted unanimously to approve,” Sanibel Natural Resources Director James Evans said today. “The city is very excited to continue our partnership with Lee County on this important project.”
Prior to the BOCC’s consideration of the funding request and vote on it, the TDC had voted unanimously on Jan. 9 at its meeting to recommend to the BOCC that it approve the ask.
“We’re excited to move forward with this emergency project and we look forward to completing it, hopefully, by the beginning of sea turtle nesting season, which is May 1,” Evans said.
The project will entail the addition of a larger, approximately 500-foot armor stone layer along an existing buried revetment and installation of either a steel sheet pile wall or Truline system, followed by recreating the soft shoreline through new sand placement, dune restoration and new vegetation.
The total cost is an estimated $1.4 million, which includes $38,450 in emergency funding that the Sanibel City Council approved in December for temporary protective measures – vegetation removal, site preparation and the placing of sandbags – after staff provided a status update on the erosion.
Also today, Evans reported that the temporary measures were in place.
“The installation is complete,” he said of the double row and single row of one-ton sandbags recently set up in the most vulnerable areas along the roadway. “They’re in place and they’re working well.”
Evans noted that the temporary barrier held up well during the last cold front.
“Staff are continuing to monitor the area to ensure it is operating as designed,” he said.
In terms of the permanent project, Evans explained that it went out for bid in early January.
“We’re expecting those bids back,” he said, noting that the deadline is Jan. 30.
Coastal engineering firm Humiston & Moore Engineers received approved from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on its design plan using two different methodologies for the project – metal sheet pile wall and Truline wall system – which the city bid out both ways.
In doing so, it has some flexibility in its choice and can compare costs and benefits.
A new innovation in seawall, bulkhead and retaining wall construction, the Truline system combines steel, concrete and vinyl materials into one wall system. According to its Website, the wall is protected long-term by the dual-interlocking vinyl form, which encases or protects the concrete and steel rebar.
Evans explained that staff will conduct a bid opening and rank the contractors, then present its recommended selection before the Sanibel City Council for approval at the Feb. 4 meeting.
If approved, the city is expected to start construction during the first week of March.