Road connecting Sanibel and Captiva islands is now under construction

A project to save the only road connecting Sanibel and Captiva islands is now underway.

Two months ago, Sanibel declared a local emergency because of significant erosion concerns. The road has been at risk for decades. Now, crews are quickly working to save it.

It is a busy construction zone right now. Crews started working several days ago and they said they are already two-and-a-half weeks ahead of schedule. Their goal is to create a vinyl wall filled with concrete along a stretch of Sanibel Captiva Rd.

The construction crews will then put a concrete cap on top of the wall and build a rock structure in front of it, which will be covered in sand and vegetation. The aim is to protect the beach and prevent future erosion. Sanibel has biologists watching over sea turtles and shorebirds while crews work to ensure their safety.

Sanibel’s director of natural resources, James Evan, told WINK News it is an effort to make the community more resilient to the impacts of sea-level rise.

“Sea level rise is impacting our communities,” Evans said. “This wall and this cap will allow us to knock those waves down before they come over san cap road.”

Construction must be done by May 1. Sanibel is on the hook for design and engineering. Tourism tax money is paying for construction.

“We have very high expectations that this is going to be a permanent solution,” Evans said. “We look at this as a 50-year solution.”

Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
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