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County BOCC expands shoreline stabilization project on causeway


A project planned to stabilize the shoreline along the Sanibel Causeway was recently expanded to improve drainage, parking and amenities for Island A and Island B of the Causeway Islands.

On Dec. 15, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners voted to expand the Sanibel Causeway Shoreline Stabilization Project, accept a $4.25 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and allocate $2.4 million in county Tourist Development Tax Reserves for the project.

The only roadway access to Sanibel and Captiva, the Sanibel Causeway includes two islands: Island A to the east and Island B to the west. Both of the islands frequently are used as recreational facilities.

County commissioners approved the original design contract in 2017.

Lee County then applied for and was awarded a state legislative appropriation through the FDOT to provide necessary erosion control structures and storm-water runoff by providing stabilization of the shoreline. The project will add beach sand, compacted shell and paved ADA parking spaces to Islands A and B and a picnic pavilion. Additional event-parking areas and efforts to improve access to fishing on both sides of the islands are included.

Construction is expected to begin with erosion control measures on Island B in the summer, and all work will completed by 2024. The total estimated cost to design, permit and construct the improvements and stabilize the shorelines is $8.5 million.