■ BY SUSAN ERWIN
Visitors to the island who are curious about when the ADA handicap-accessible ramp will be available again will be happy to learn there is a current project in place to repair it. The plan also will include an additional 40 feet of ramp.
Lee County Government Communications Specialist Tim Engstrom said the existing ramp is currently in need of repairs, and the County considered the length of it when arranging for improvements.
“Permits recently have been obtained from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and work is set to begin soon,” Engstrom said. “The work will be complete in early spring.”
Until then, visitors in need of a ramp to access the beach can visit the Gasparilla Island State Park.
“We have two ADA beach wheelchairs available at the Lighthouse, one of which is a floating wheelchair,” said Rick Argo, Gasparilla Island State Park manager.
The park also has a “Mobi Mat,” which accesses Boca Grande Pass beach. It is lightweight, portable, rollout, nonslip matting that is temporarily or permanently placed on the ground to provide access on sand, grass or other unstable surfaces.
The Range Light State Park near Wheeler Street also has ADA access to the beach via a Mobi Mat.
Gasparilla Island State Park is located at 880 Belcher Road at the southern end of the island.