Steven Ray McDonald from the Restore The Arches organization announced this week that the group did not win a $3,000 Florida State Grant that would have helped fund engineering for the project. The group received 78.8 of 80 points needed for the grant.
McDonald says the group will move forward using its own funding while continuing to look for grant opportunities.
If the funds needed to reconstruct the arch, it will be built in Bowditch Park, which is owned by Lee County. The estimated cost to reconstruct the arch is $43,000. So far the organization has raised $15,600.
The group is holding a Walk The Arches Poker Walk in October to raise additional funds. The group is also selling bricks to raise money. The customized bricks will be part of the reconstruction. Find more details on the briks HERE.
There are 17 stones from the original arches remaining, about 1/3 of the original structure. That amounts to 60,000 lbs of stone.
The arches welcomed residents and visitors to Fort Myers Beach, where the Matanzas Pass bridge now sits, from 1924-1979. When they were knocked down to construct the new bridge not all the pieces were saved. Those that were are now in storage.