Punta Gorda, Florida expects to complete seawall rehab by July

By Richard Massey


About 80 percent of the Punta Gorda seawall system damaged in 2017 by Hurricane Irma has been replaced. Officials there expect the project to be complete by July. Punta Gorda is using ChromX9100 steel rebar, the most corrosion-resistant product offered by MMFX. So far, the city’s contractors have made quick work of repairing about 11 miles of seawall, most of it older construction from the 1960s and ‘70s. Irma made its final landfall south of Punta Gorda as a Category 3 and raced up the west coast of the state, leaving catastrophic damage in its wake.

In Punta Gorda, the post-hurricane analysis found aging seawalls nearing the end of their lifecycle, saturated ground behind the seawall, a negative tide, meaning Irma sucked water from Charlotte Harbor, and numerous instances of waterline cracking, rusted and missing tiebacks, unreinforced outfalls, and inadequate berms. Much of Punta Gorda is built around a 55-mile system of canals, hence the need for 110 miles of seawall.   

Since no single contractor had the bonding capacity for the $30-million project, the city hired three separate contractors, all of which are using the same standardized materials throughout.

“We are very pleased with the progress of the three contractors,” said Mark Gering, P.E., Punta Gorda city engineer. “The only problem we’ve encountered is that the three contractors have slightly different means and methods. We are constantly hearing from residents that the contractor who did their friend’s seawall across town did it differently. Eight weeks of seawall work in their backyard is undoubtedly annoying but the majority of our residents are thankful that the work is getting done and they didn’t have to deal with contracting, inspections, etc.”After

By the numbers:


  • 1,320 panels annually
  • 10 panels per day maximum pour capacity
  • 1.5 miles seawall replaced annually
  • 1 contract/contractor for entire city
  • $3,200,000 budget
  • staff of 8


  • 10,000 panels needed
  • 55 panels per day maximum pour capacity
  • 11 miles seawall to be replaced in 18 months
  • 8 contracts / 3 contractors for entire city
  • $30M budget
  • staff of 14

    Richard Massey is managing editor of Zweig Group publications. He can be reached at rmassey@zweiggroup.com.