FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- A year and a half after a Fort Myers Beach seawall gave way, town council gave the wall the green light to protect a building from flooding and to curb beach erosion in front of Leonardo Arms.
The condo complex will begin to move forward with getting the protection it needs from the gulf water. A 300 foot-long retaining wall will be built to keep any water from flowing to close to the building.
"It will protect the property, they are also required to put in some dunes and dune vegetation to basically help maintain the integrity of the wall," said Fort Myers Beach Mayor Alan Mandel.
It's a major upgrade that will provide long term stability for the property. Currently, sand bags are being used as a short term solution after a Declaration of Emergency by the DEP was issued in 2012.
"We had water hitting the bag itself and if we didn't have those sand bags we would have more erosion and damage," said condo owner Vito Scarimbolo.
Humiston and Moore Engineering is handling the project and says over the last 15 years the erosion has been substantial. Sand shoals in the area of Little Estero Island used to provide protection to the south end of the island, but that's been over run by water.
"It's probably changed 300-400 feet from what I can see, we used to have a big lagoon in front, we used to have sand dunes that were 50 to 60 feet wide."
And now, the 180 residents who call Leonardo Arms home will not have to worry about water threatening the foundation of the building.
"At one point we had water 19 feet from the pylons so it was dangerous."
The cost of the wall is still unknown, however, we do know, Leonardo Arms will be in charge of paying for the wall.
WIN News is told the sand bags are supposed to be removed in April.