Matlacha-Pine Island, Temporary bridge opens

An update about access to the Matlacha-Pine Island region is something Lee County would want to share with the general public. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office provided the following information:

Matlacha-Pine Island needs to be rebuilt as soon as feasible, thus the LCSO is eliminating procedures that hindered westbound traffic on Thursday when the road and bridges reopened. These procedures decreased the effectiveness of restoring the island’s infrastructure for those who needed it.

The LCSO has redirected more resources to the island for the protection of life and property, so locals shouldn’t be anxious about their safety or property. To further improve safety for Pine Island residents, LCSO will also collaborate with its multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partners.

People on the island should be informed that they can be asked for identification when they run into law authorities. Consider the following:

• Residents must be in possession of a driver’s licence, utility bill, lease, or other document proving their address.

• Vendors of supplies, such as those selling food, fuel, and water, will need to show a mission number given by the Emergency Operations Center.

• Those who work as contractors for private property owners, for insurance firms, etc., must have official identification that includes their affiliated address.

Police won’t be checking on Public Safety employees, utility businesses, telecommunications firms, or waste and debris collectors.

This is effective immediately. As needed, LCSO will evaluate the need to implement further restrictions to meet the needs of the island residents.

Background: The roadway and temporary bridges installed by the Florida Department of Transportation opened Wednesday afternoon.

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