- The City of Sanibel
- 800 Dunlop Road - Sanibel
- Florida 33957 - United States
The Sanibel Causeway is a series of bridges that connect the city of Fort Myers on the mainland of Florida to Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. It spans the San Carlos Bay, providing a vital transportation link between the mainland and the barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico. The causeway system consists of three separate bridges and two small man-made islands.
Mainland Bridge (A Bridge): This is the first bridge in the causeway system, also known as "A Bridge." It is a two-lane bridge that connects the mainland of Fort Myers to a small man-made island called "Causeway Island A." This bridge is around 3,400 feet long.
Middle Bridge (B Bridge): The Middle Bridge, often referred to as "B Bridge," is the second in the series and connects Causeway Island A to Causeway Island B. It is also a two-lane bridge and is approximately 3,000 feet long.
Sanibel Island Bridge (C Bridge): The third bridge is known as the "C Bridge" and connects Causeway Island B to Sanibel Island. It is a two-lane bridge and spans around 2,800 feet.
The causeway system was originally built in the mid-1960s to provide better access to the barrier islands and promote tourism and development in the area. Before the causeway was constructed, reaching Sanibel and Captiva Islands required using a ferry service.
The Sanibel Causeway not only serves as a transportation route but also offers stunning views of the surrounding waters, making it a popular scenic drive. It has become an iconic landmark in the region, attracting both residents and visitors alike.
The area around the causeway and the islands it connects is known for its beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and natural preserves. Sanibel Island, in particular, is renowned for its seashells, which are frequently collected by visitors from around the world. The causeway's construction played a significant role in transforming the islands into a popular destination for tourism and vacationing.
- Construction: The construction of the Sanibel Causeway began in 1962, and the causeway was officially opened to traffic on May 26, 1963. The project was a significant engineering endeavor, involving the construction of three bridges and two man-made islands to connect the mainland to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
- Replaced Ferry Service: Prior to the causeway's construction, the only way to reach Sanibel and Captiva Islands was by using a ferry service. The causeway replaced the ferry system and provided a more convenient and reliable means of transportation to and from the islands.
- Hurricane Impact: The Sanibel Causeway has been impacted by several hurricanes over the years. Notably, Hurricane Charley in 2004 caused significant damage to the causeway, leading to its closure for a brief period while repairs were made.
- Tolls: The causeway was originally a toll road, with toll booths located at the mainland entrance. In 2007, the tolls were removed, making the causeway free to use for all vehicles.
- Maintenance and Upgrades: Over the years, the causeway has undergone maintenance and upgrades to ensure its structural integrity and safety. These efforts have included repairs to the bridges and improvements to the roadway.
- Environmental Impact: The construction of the causeway had both positive and negative environmental impacts. While it facilitated access to the islands and boosted tourism, it also altered natural tidal flow patterns and had ecological consequences for the surrounding ecosystem.
- Scenic Drive: The causeway is renowned for its scenic beauty and is a popular route for both residents and visitors. The views of the Gulf of Mexico, San Carlos Bay, and the islands themselves make it a picturesque drive.
- Tourism and Development: The causeway played a crucial role in transforming Sanibel and Captiva Islands into popular tourist destinations. The increased accessibility led to the growth of tourism-related businesses and real estate development on the islands.
- Cultural Significance: The Sanibel Causeway is not only a transportation route but also a cultural and historical landmark for the local community. It symbolizes the connection between the mainland and the islands and holds significance for those who live on or visit the islands.
- Protected Areas: The causeway passes through or near several protected areas and natural preserves, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts in the region.
The Sanibel Causeway's history is intertwined with the growth and development of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and it remains an integral part of the local community's identity and the islands' tourism industry.
The Sanibel Causeway consists of three main bridges that connect the mainland of Fort Myers to Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. Each of these bridges has its own unique characteristics and significance. Here's an overview of the three bridges:Mainland Bridge (A Bridge):
- This is the first bridge in the causeway system, often referred to as "A Bridge."
- It spans the initial gap between the mainland and Causeway Island A, a small man-made island.
- The Mainland Bridge is around 3,400 feet (about 1,036 meters) in length.
- It is a two-lane bridge that serves as the starting point of the causeway journey.
- The Middle Bridge, also known as "B Bridge," connects Causeway Island A to Causeway Island B.
- Like the Mainland Bridge, the Middle Bridge is a two-lane structure.
- It is approximately 3,000 feet (about 914 meters) long.
- This bridge plays a pivotal role in connecting the two man-made islands of the causeway.
- The Sanibel Island Bridge, often referred to as "C Bridge," is the final bridge in the causeway system.
- It connects Causeway Island B to Sanibel Island.
- The C Bridge is around 2,800 feet (about 853 meters) in length.
- Similar to the other two bridges, it is a two-lane structure.
- The Sanibel Island Bridge marks the conclusion of the causeway journey, providing access to Sanibel Island's scenic beauty and attractions.
All three bridges are elevated structures that allow for boats to pass beneath them, given the waterway's importance for maritime traffic. The bridges offer breathtaking views of the surrounding waters, and travelers often stop to admire the Gulf of Mexico, San Carlos Bay, and the islands themselves.
The Sanibel Causeway's bridge system has played a significant role in facilitating transportation, tourism, and economic development in the region. It has become an iconic symbol of the area and remains a popular route for both locals and visitors, attracting those who seek to experience the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast.
Causeway Islands Park
Causeway Islands Park refers to the recreational areas located on the man-made islands that are part of the Sanibel Causeway system. These islands are known as Causeway Island A and Causeway Island B. The park areas on these islands provide opportunities for relaxation, picnicking, fishing, and enjoying the scenic surroundings of San Carlos Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Here's more information about Causeway Islands Park:Causeway Island A:
- Causeway Island A is the first man-made island that you encounter when traveling from the mainland to Sanibel Island.
- It features a park area with amenities like picnic tables and benches, allowing visitors to stop and enjoy a meal or snack while taking in the views.
- The park is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts, as the waters around the island provide opportunities to catch a variety of fish.
- There are restroom facilities available on the island for the convenience of visitors.
- Causeway Island B is the second man-made island along the causeway, situated between Causeway Island A and Sanibel Island.
- This island is known for its fishing pier, which extends into the bay and offers anglers a great place to cast their lines.
- The park area on Causeway Island B provides additional picnic spots, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the coastal atmosphere.
- Birdwatchers often frequent this area due to the diverse bird species that can be observed in the surrounding ecosystem.
Both Causeway Island A and Causeway Island B offer a chance for travelers to pause their journey along the causeway and make the most of the beautiful surroundings. The park areas provide a convenient way for people to enjoy outdoor activities, have a meal, and appreciate the natural beauty of the region. It's important to note that while these islands offer recreational facilities, they may not have the same amenities and features as larger, more developed parks. Please keep in mind that park conditions and amenities can change over time, so it's a good idea to check with local authorities or official sources for the most current information before planning a visit to Causeway Islands Park.