FORT PIERCE, Fla. - As with every road project, it starts out small. There's a fresh coat of pavement on the Orange Avenue overpass shoulder in Fort Pierce.
But this is just the beginning. For the next three years, drivers in St. Lucie and Indian River counties will be seeing plenty of orange barrels on Interstate 95.
This initial work is being done at night.
Kathleen Dempsey, spokeswoman with the Corradino Group, which is overseeing the project, said that lane closures have started Sunday through Thursday evenings from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
One lane is closed in each direction northbound and southbound. Dempsey said the combination of studies showing the need for road expansion, and the availability of federal dollars means the time is now to get this project started.
"We're making some accommodations to improve safety. There were a few safety issues especially with the heavily congested semi traffic," said Dempsey.
Longer straightaways will be incorporated at the exit ramps and the interchanges at both State Road 70/Okeechobee Road and Orange Avenue will be completely rebuilt.
This is just the first phase of the I-95 widening project. The other two phases will head north to the State Road 60 exit west of Vero Beach. By 2015, 19 miles of interstate will have new traffic lanes.
There will be eight lanes between State Road 70 and Indrio Road and six lanes from there north to the Vero Beach exit.
The price tag for the entire project is just under $150 million.
If you want more information about the project and lane closures, you can call 772-359-5118, or click here.