Professional says Cape Coral seawall proposal costly for homeowners

The cost for seawall repairs near homes in Cape Coral could rise much as 200 percent, industry professional Raymond Williamson says. However, the city said prices will be much lower.

“We’re anticipating between 150 to 200-percent increases in the cost of the seawalls,” said Williamson vice president of Williamson and Son Marine Construction.

Williamson has built seawalls in the Cape for more than 50 years, and he has seen improvements in construction standards.

“We understand that the standards that we’re building today are far more superior than they were 45 years ago,” Williamson said.

But the city wants to improve those standards further. City officials said there have not been any changes in years, and that’s why they are working on it.

But Williamson said the city’s proposed changes could translate to higher costs for homeowners.

“They want us to build a 100-year product,” Williamson said. “And I can build you a 100-year product. It’s just are you willing to pay for it?”

Homeowners like realtor Sam Yaffey don’t want to pay for the project. She had to spend $11,000 replacing a portion of the seawall after Hurricane Irma.

“I may, if I stay here long enough, have to also replace the rest of my seawall for the same reason,”” Yaffey said. “It’s just a ridiculous thing to comprehend.”

The city told us it received a letter from a local seawall contractor that detailed an estimated increase could be $18,000 or 45 percent. The proposal remains in draft stages, and the city looks to ensure cost increases remain minimum.

The proposal has not been reviewed by city council, and current seawall policies remain in place.

“Maybe the ideas needed be vetted a little bit more,” Yaffey said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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