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Large barges seen in Punta Gorda Canals as contractors gear up for seawall repairs

seawall repair in Punta Gorda
Posted at 7:32 PM, May 26, 2023

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — The Friday before a busy Memorial Day weekend, boaters in Punta Gorda are being asked to watch out for barges the city uses to repair Hurricane Ian-damaged seawalls.

A City of Punta Gorda spokesperson told Fox 4 work on seawalls won't begin until May 30, 2023. The project was delayed last month.

Mary Wilson lives in the Punta Gorda Isles community and told Fox 4 about the moment she heard the barges moving in.

“It was early last week I could hear the diesel or whatever it was that was running and I was like, 'something is going on,' so a couple of our neighbors that are now since gone back up north, we stood out here and got them situated and we literally clapped,” said Wilson.

A spokesperson for the City of Punta Gorda said the contractor will deploy at least six barges to complete the job which, is expected to take 18 months to complete.

Fox 4 asked the City of Punta Gorda what responsibilities homeowners will have to take care of on their own. Here's what to know:

  • The contractor will mail a notification to the property owner making them aware of when the work is scheduled to begin.
  • Property owners are responsible for removing all appurtenances within 10 feet of the seawall.
  • Appurtenances can be sidewalks and brick pavers; fences; ladders; electrical wiring/ lights/outlets; plumbing/water spigots; landscaping; etc. All boats and any other watercraft or floating docks adjacent to the property will have to be relocated until the work is completed.
  • Once the work is completed property owners are responsible for watering the newly placed sod.

The City of Punta Gorda said residents also have to remove all electrical and underground infrastructure from the seawalls before work can be done.
Mary Wilson said she helped her other seasonal neighbors, who already left for summer, get their properties ready.

“Since the barge is here, it's a staging point. We are hoping that our canal is one of the first ones,” said Wilson.

Canal Maintenance can be reached at (941) 575-5050.