soon as possible, City Manager Russ Blackburn says.
Drivers will be able to reach the eastern part of the city in
about 15 minutes from I-95, instead of about 45 minutes. It
will be an easy trip from U.S. 1 through the southern end of
St. Lucie West to Tradition, relieving the old bridges on Prima
Vista and Port St. Lucie boulevards from congestion. When
the old bridges were built, the city’s population was less than
14,000. Today, it is more than 13 times that, at 189,000.
The Crosstown bridge faced obstacle after obstacle for
years before the groundbreaking because it crosses environmentally
sensitive lands, making it difficult to get permits.
Legal challenges by environmental groups cost the city a
However, city officials went all out to mitigate the effects,
resulting in a number of benefits to residents and visitors
alike, Blackburn pointed out in one of his annual reports.
The city gave 110 acres of land to the state to expand the
Savannas Preserve State Park. It helped St. Lucie County
complete a restoration project at Platts Creek. A multi-use
trail at the Savannas Recreation Area off East Midway Road
was built. The Evans Creek canoe launch was improved
and now supports use by the disabled, and the city paid to
expand the popular and frequently used education center at
the Savannas Preserve State Park.
Groundbreaking was May 9, 2017. It took two years and
four months to build from West Virginia Drive, where the
existing parkway ended, to U.S. 1 at Village Green Drive.
The cost, originally predicted to be $101 million, ended up
being $91 million because the city took over the lead on the
project from the Florida Department of Transportation and
used the single team of RS&H and Archer Western for design
and construction. City officials say combining the design and
the build phases reduces risk and saves time and money.
The two companies working together built the Veterans
Memorial Bridge in Palm City, which faced similar issues,
although the Palm City Bridge crosses more water than the
Port St. Lucie bridge.
Like many large road-and-bridge projects, Crosstown was
built in segments. The first one, on the western side of the >>
14 Port St. Lucie Magazine
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
To the right of the Crosstown bridge is a
temporary bridge that construction workers
used to reach their construction sites on the
new parkway. It kept heavy equipment off
the fragile wetlands.
This map shows the new section of road and bridge in orange.