Council approves seawall resolution to repair damages caused by Irma

Hurricane Irma left her mark on seawalls across Cape Coral. And it left taxpayers with bills that could be as high as $95,000.

The city council approved the Seawall Resolution as long as they removed the corrugated vinyl option, which upset plenty of contractors who were promised a different outcome.

Bill Johnson Jr, CEO of the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, wasn’t happy with how the vote turned out.

“It’s purely aesthetics, that’s it, because they don’t like the way it looks,” Johnson said.

“We had industry professionals, both of them stating that both types of seawall applications on the vinyl side are more than adequate,” Johnson added. “They meet structural engineering designs and they’re basing it on aesthetic look because they don’t like how a corrugated panel looks.”

Photos of both the corrugated vinyl seawalls and vinyl seawalls were shown to council members.

According to officials, the corrugated seawalls provide more strength to the walls structurally, and the vinyl seawalls are flatter but more expensive.

With some seawall repairs topping tens of thousand of dollars, former Cape Coral mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz says it was important to bring up seawall repair with reasonably priced alternatives after Hurricane Irma. But he says the council could have cut repair costs even more with both options.

“There are applications where the corrugated allows additional structural enhancements and it also is a less expensive product so the council just made a decision,” he said. “I don’t think that raised the cost of repairing seawalls in Cape Coral significantly for a lot of their constituents.”

Herb Hutchinson with Truline, a company that specializes in vinyl seawalls, is excited to move forward.

“The other advantage that you see with all vinyl products is the reduction in buildup along the walls,” he said. “I’m glad we’ll be able to move forward.”

Writer:Erica Brown
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