Veterans Memorial Bridge in Martin County becomes source of concern for nearby residents

PALM CITY, Fla. - More noise and more traffic.

Those are only a few of the concerns residents have who live near the newly opened Veterans Memorial Bridge in Martin County.

Some residents have opposed the construction for years, but are now stuck living with it in their backyards.

The bridge opened around 7 P.M Friday.

Since then, nearby residents Jeffrey and Lynell Wiemert have noticed the difference.

Their backyard used to be one of their favorite places to relax.

"This was our back yard. This was our peace and quiet before the bridge came through," Lynell said.

The sound of the waterfall now drowned out by the sound of traffic that runs right in their backyard. "I don't like what I hear," Lynell said.

"I think we've had more traffic on this street in the last two years than we've had in the 20 that we lived here," Jeffrey said.

The Wiemerts say they also lived with the disruption during the construction of the bridge, when detours would bring lost drivers through their cul-de-sac.

"They're trying to go to Stuart but they end up here because they're following detour signs."

Other residents along the street share similar concerns about other inconveniences caused by the bridge. One being the fact they can no longer make a left turn out of the neighborhood. Newly installed medians mean drivers have to take a right and then make a U-turn, adding time to their drive.

Meanwhile, others are enjoying a decrease in drive time.

"I thought it was needed. The Palm City bridge, the original, was really too busy at rush hour both times of the day and this is going to help," said driver Martin Anzelone.

The Wiemerts say a county commissioner came by their neighborhood this week to get an update on their concerns and listen to some ideas about possible resolutions.

The county is expected to take over control of the bridge from the state sometime early next year.

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