Work on San-Cap Road shore project moves into phase two
As of the end of last week, the first phase of the emergency shore protection project located along Sanibel-Captiva Road, near Blind Pass, was completed on schedule and as required by a state permit.
On May 1, Sanibel Natural Resources Director James Evans reported that the project’s Phase I was finished the day before. Running from the east end of the project area to within 75 feet of the west end, the “sandy beach portion” had to be done by May 1 as per the Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit.
“It had to be done before sea turtle nesting season,” he said.
The second phase of the project will entail installing the last 75 feet of the wall on the west end.
“They’re working on that now,” Evans said, adding that the goal is to have it done by this week.
After, rocks and sand will be put down like on the east end.
“By the next two weeks, we’re going to have the project completed,” he said last week. “We have a target completion date for the project of May 15.”
Evans explained that it will remain an active construction site until Phase II is finished.
Throughout the project, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation staff have been involved. Its biologists have been monitoring shorebird activity in the area since the start, with the sea turtle staff taking part since mid-April. They check the area every morning, then give crews the green light.
“They’ll continue to monitor through the end of the project,” he said of the SCCF team. “Those guys are working hard to protect those resources. We really appreciate their efforts.”
For the project, a larger approximately 500-foot armor stone layer was installed along an existing buried revetment, plus the installation of a Truline system – steel, concrete and vinyl combined into a one wall system. The dual-interlocking vinyl form encases or protects the concrete and steel rebar.
A soft shoreline is then recreated with sand placement, dune restoration and new vegetation.
A new guardrail was also installed to protect motorists.
The final step of the project – installing the new vegetation on the water-ward side of the wall, and between the wall and guardrail – will likely take place in June or July to synch with the rainy season.
“We’re looking at over 20,000 native dune plants,” Evans said, noting that there will be five to seven species of low-growing plants selected, such as sea oats, dune sunflowers and railroad vines.
“It will provide important habitat and also hide the wall, but we’ll be able to maintain those beautiful views we have now,” he added. “They’ll add some color – and also help to protect the dunes.”
Evans reported that the project has been running very smoothly.
There was a slight delay at the start related to the replacement of an LCEC pole in the area, but the contractor was able to make up that time due to less traffic on the roads because of COVID-19.
“They were able to truck the sand and rock out much quicker than anticipated,” he said.
“We’re on schedule and we’re still within budget,” Evans added.
The city received a $1,398,450 grant to cover the project’s cost.
“This project was 100 percent funded the (Lee County) Tourist Development Council and Lee County bed tax funds,” he said. “We again appreciate the partnership with Lee County and the TDC and the Lee County Board of County Commissioners to get this great project completed.”
Evans added that the city is happy to see the project come to completion.
“We’re extremely happy with the work,” he said. “We think a lot of people will be very pleased.”
Humiston and Moore Engineers is the engineer for the project.
The contractor is Benton & Sons Construction Company.