Indian River Drive reopens after flood damage

County says road could wash away again

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Indian River Drive has reopened between Midway and Walton roads after being closed for weeks following flood damage.

A large portion of the roadway washed away during a flood earlier in January.

Officials with St. Lucie County say the roadway is now safe for drivers, but the shoulder is still barricaded as it is awaiting repairs.

Fixing the entire roadway in a timely and permanent manner is proving to be a challenge for the county.

The high elevation of the road is one contributing factor to the struggle. The county is working to come up with a  unique concept design to fix it.

But, even when the shoulder is repaired, the county says it will be a struggle to keep the road from washing away again.

Because the road is also so narrow, there is no easy way for the county to build reinforcement for the road.

County spokesperson, Erick Gill, says it's cheaper for the county to continue paying for occasional repairs, than front the costs of a permanent solution.

"Throughout the years, we've had to go in there and do temporary repairs because of storms, either hurricanes or tropical storms or unusual rain events like we've had and we'll continue to have to do that," Gill said.

Gill says this is the second time in ten years that the road has needed flood related repairs.

The project cost nearly $200,000. FEMA did not approve reimbursement for the repairs.

Gill says any future work will continue to come out of the county budget.


 

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