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Article by: Nicole Rodriguez
PORT ST. LUCIE — Motorists can expect lane closures along Floresta Drive as construction on the long-awaited Crosstown Parkway extension project progresses.
Floresta Drive between Atlantus and Chaloupe avenues will close for two months beginning Monday, when St. Lucie County schools begin summer break, city officials said.
The road will reopen Aug. 11, in time for the opening of school, officials said.
“The project team coordinated with Floresta Elementary School and the St. Lucie County School District in advance, and the closure will not take place until school is out,” city spokeswoman Sarah Prohaska said in an email Wednesday.
Drainage and other underground work will be conducted during the closure.
Floresta Drive will remain open to local residents and to accommodate area businesses, city officials said.
Motorists will follow detours at Thornhill and Sandia drives and Evergreen Terrace during the closure.
The city anticipates no future full closures at Floresta Drive. However, some traffic shifts and minor disruptions are anticipated as construction progresses. Minimal lane closures are expected in other areas of the city, and U.S. 1 eventually will experience lane closures, city officials said.
Once completed in late 2019, Crosstown Parkway will carry motorists from Manth Lane on Southeast West Virginia Drive, over the North Fork of the St. Lucie River to Village Green Drive at U.S. 1. The project is aimed at alleviating traffic congestion on heavily traveled Prima Vista and Port St. Lucie boulevards, city officials said.
“We will be safer, our travel will be easier, our economy will grow, and we will even have new places to play,” Mayor Greg Oravec said in an email Wednesday. “In a broader sense, the successful completion of the Crosstown Bridge means victory.”
“It means that our community can bring a multi-generational dream to life and that we can and will seize our great potential,” Oravec said.
The entire project, including acquisition of homes and property in the roadway’s path, is expected to cost about $313.8 million.
The original portion of Crosstown Parkway — from Tradition Parkway to Manth Lane — was built between 2007 and 2009, but the extension has been plagued by delays since 2014, when environmentalists challenged the bridge’s path through environmentally sensitive land.
Work on the extension was to begin January 2016, but the project was delayed for more than a year by the Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County and the Indian Riverkeeper, which challenged its route in federal court, a case they ultimately lost this year.