LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A project planned to stabilize the shoreline along the Sanibel Causeway has been expanded to improve drainage, parking and amenities on both causeway islands.
The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to expand the project, accept a $4.25 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and allocate $2.4 million in tourism tax reserves for the project.
The Sanibel Causeway connects the mainland to Sanibel Island and is the only roadway access to the islands of Sanibel and Captiva. There are two islands along the causeway; Island A to the east and Island B to the west. Both islands frequently are used as recreational facilities.
Commissioners approved the original design contract in April 2017.
Lee County then applied for and was awarded a state legislative appropriation through 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 this summer, and all work will be completed by 2024. The total estimated cost to design, permit and construct the improvements and stabilize the shorelines is $8.5 million.