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NEW PROTECTIONS IN PUNTA GORDA: City buys almost $800,000 in concrete as seawall repairs continue

Over 7 miles of seawalls in Punta Gorda were damaged by Hurricane Ian.
Posted at 10:05 PM, Mar 26, 2024

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — On March 20, the Punta Gorda City Council voted to purchase $789,120 worth of marine-grade ready mix concrete as it continues to make repairs to seawalls damaged in Hurricane Ian.

According to the city, seawalls at more than 600 properties in Punta Gorda sustained damage during Hurricane Ian, leading to 7.25 miles of seawalls needing to be repaired.

The city has been repairing the seawalls based on a priority assessment, with some homeowners still waiting for their walls to be fixed.

“It's been a long arduous journey,” said Bill Atkinson, whose seawall repair started two weeks ago. “They came out two weeks ago and started tearing out the old seawall and putting the new one in. So, they have done a wonderful job getting it in so quickly and we are very happy with the results.”

The city uses the concrete to manufacture the concrete panels that form a seawall and use contractors to install them.

“It's a very difficult process,” said Darrel Henry, a marine construction carpenter. “A lot of time, a lot of hours and a lot of manpower goes into it.”

The $789,120 concrete purchase was paid for using the city’s canal maintenance fund, which certain homeowners pay into through a canal maintenance fee. The fund allows the repairs to be done without extra costs to the homeowners, something Bill Atkinson said was a good use of the fund.

“It's the best way to do it,” said Atkinson. “If I would have had to put that seawall in it probably would have cost $40,000-80,000 to replace it.”

The city has applied for a FEMA reimbursement for the purchase, and expects all the seawalls to be repaired by 11/11/2024.