Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blind Pass May Be
Opened This Weekend

Blind Pass could be reopened to boaters this weekend, for the first time in
eight years.
The initial dredging project is expected to be complete Friday, July 31, said
Robert Neal, coastal engineer with Lee County Division of Natural Resources.
“The tentative date for removing the steel sheetpile wall and opening Blind Pass is
Saturday, August 1,” Neal added, weather permitting.
“That is great,” said John Jensen, of Jensen’s Cottages & Marina on Captiva. “Oh
my gosh, guys who have been here a long time think the fishing is going to be unbelieveable.
It is going to make a huge difference with the water flow and everything.”
Lee County intends to authorize additional dredging up to 40,000 cubic yards with
a completion date of October. The additional material will be dependent on the volume
of shoaling experienced when the sheetpile wall is removed, according to Neal.
He said marking of Wulfert Channel and the pole and troll zone in Wulfert Flats
should be in place prior to opening Blind Pass.
Neal said while the opening is taking place no boats will be allowed through. “Once
the equipment is out of the way then it’s up to the navigator. I’d give it a few days to
see what the sand does.”
No specific time has been set to allow the gulf waters to flow into the bay and vice
versa, but it will happen during the contractor’s work day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Still remaining is for Lee County to remove the old creosote bridge pilings, discovered
in the dredge area. That work is scheduled for August 31.
The pass has opened and closed on its own over the years. Reopening the channel
is expected to improve the water quality on the bayside. It will also restore what was
once a much-navigated pass for boaters.

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