DeSantis and Team Rebuild Bridge in Just Three Days!
On October fifth, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue announced the early completion of emergency road and bridge repairs to Pine Island.
On Sunday, DeSantis ordered Perdue to work with Lee county to expedite the repairs and to finish by Saturday, October eighth. The crews worked hard to complete the repairs under such ambitious timing and overperformed. The bridge was built in just three days.
Rapid response director Christina Pushaw celebrated the achievement on Twitter and lauded DeSantis for his recovery partnerships with SpaceX and Publix.
Awesome 😎 Just a week after a Cat4/5 Hurricane cut off Pine Island from the rest of the world, they now have a bridge, starlink from @elonmusk, and now a convoy of @Publix trucks rolling in! ♥️🙌 Couldn’t be prouder to be a Floridian. https://t.co/5sm3OFQXFY
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) October 6, 2022
Governor DeSantis spoke to the press on the matter.
“Within 24 hours after I asked FDOT to get involved, we had more than 130 trucks rolling in and crews got to work. 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.”
Secretary Perdue detailed the logistics of the feat as well.
“Hundreds of loads of sand and rock, various pieces of heavy equipment, and dedicated crew members have literally helped pave the way to recovery for this community. The Department was honored to be called to help support Florida’s communities in their greatest time of need. We are proud to have worked alongside our partners, Lee County, and deliver on our promise of reconnecting this community to the mainland as quickly as we possibly could.”
With the new bridge built, supplies can be transported to those in need on Pine Island more easily. Before its reconstruction, food services were reliant on their limited amphibious vehicles. A tweet from WC Kitchen reveals the extent of the initial damage to the bridge.
.@WCKitchen teams are across Florida today serving thousands of meals to people needing our support after #HurricaneIan. This is the bridge going to Pine Island.. and why we have an amphibious vehicle to be able to reach wherever needed with food, water! #ChefsForFlorida pic.twitter.com/knEt1CFQKs
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 29, 2022
The speed of the repairs is impressive, especially in comparison to the performance of other states. For example, when California was rebuilding the Bay Bridge, it took them 11 years. Granted, the Bay Bridge is larger than the bridge to Pine Island, but the original construction of the Bay Bridge in the 1930s only took 3.6.
According to Mercury News, “fear of litigation, environmental regulations, and greater public involvement has also pushed out construction timelines and driven up costs” in California and places with similar regulations. Mercury News reported that “When asked why engineers and builders 80 years ago could work so much faster, a contractor on the bridge half-jokingly described today’s construction landscape as the equivalent of asking workers to erect a bridge in record time with their hands tied behind their backs.”
This context of miles of red tape slowing work to a snail’s pace in most of the country makes Florida’s feat so impressive, a fact that RRH Elections noted on Twitter.
“To many people living in most of America the idea of rebuilding a bridge in 3 days is simply unfathomable. The reason Ron DeSantis and the Republicans who run Florida are so popular is because they are competent. What DeSantis did in 3 days would be impossible to do in CA or NY.”
To give you an idea of how amazing an accomplishment rebuilding this bridge was, this is what the Pine Island bridge looked like 4 days ago. pic.twitter.com/3QFYCPtX5i
— RRH Elections (@RRHElections) October 6, 2022
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