LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A temporary bridge that will provide access to an area on Florida’s Gulf Coast that was damaged during Hurricane Ian is set to open Wednesday, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis spoke in Matlacha on Wednesday to provide an update on the bridge, which is providing access to Pine Island, an area near where Ian made landfall last week as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
The governor said the goal was to have the bridge restored “at least on a temporary basis” to allow more accessibility to the area.
“You know, this is new, this is temporary. And I know the county is going to have people out here to kind of make sure, but just go easy on this thing,” he said on the bridge. “You know, this is not like 60 miles an hour because they had to do this very quickly. But I think it’s an impressive effort.”
Earlier this week, the governor asked the Florida Department of Transportation to build the temporary bridge by the end of the week. The governor praised the work and the effort to complete the bridge sooner than expected.
The governor also directed FDOT to work on a temporary bridge to Sanibel Island and prioritize repairs to the Sanibel Causeway.
“FDOT has already made tremendous progress on the temporary bridge to Pine Island,” DeSantis said. “Now, I’ve asked them to work with Lee County to immediately begin work to provide temporary access and begin repairs to the Sanibel Causeway. Access to our barrier islands is a priority for our first responders and emergency services who have been working day and night to bring relief to all Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian.”