The Matlacha Pass Bridge is a small single-leaf drawbridge located in Matlacha, Florida. It carries County Road 78 over Matlacha Pass, connecting Pine Island with the mainland in Cape Coral.
Last week Hurricane Ian swiped it so badly it was destroyed. However, work on the bridge began Monday, and Florida Department of Transportation crews finished the temporary repairs in less than three days.
Construction on the Pine Island bridge has been completed today – just three days after construction began.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 6, 2022
Happy to have the state step in and help get our Pine Island residents back on their feet. pic.twitter.com/a8GqPoHtP1
“Within 24 hours after I asked FDOT to get involved, we had more than 130 trucks rolling in and crews got to work,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We made it a priority and we didn’t just get it done — we got it done quick. I want to thank the dedicated FDOT crews for working around the clock to restore the community’s access to Pine Island.”
The bridge to Pine Island has not opened yet for the public as priority access is for emergency vehicles and first responders – and the local supermarket chain, Publix.
The Governor and potential POTUS is winning plaudits for his response to the catastrophic storm.
Hard to fathom this masterclass by @GovRonDeSantis. Ian hit 1 week ago cutting through FL.98% of power back. Water in Lee running.Pine Island severed bridge open.Sanibel bridge repaired by month’s end.Fuel delivered.Roads open.Publix open. Water, food, hot meals #FloridaStrong pic.twitter.com/988ZNilZJc— Scott Wagner (@ScottWagnerFL) October 6, 2022
Joe and Jill Biden traveled to Florida to view the aftermath and speak with the survivors.
DeSantis commiserated with residents about the destruction to Sanibel Island. Biden, just off to his side, took off his blazer and his sunglasses as he listened to Floridians. DeSantis praised Biden and the federal government, while Biden colloquially thanked the “gov” as he took the lectern after DeSantis spoke.
“This is about America coming together,” Biden said.