PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.-- Environmentalists in Port St. Lucie consider it the pathway to destruction.
Dozens of people rallied in Front of Halpatiokee Park Wednesday along U.S 1 where they say the proposed Crosstown Parkway Bridge will cause irreversible damage.
Protestors say the expansion would cut through and damage parts of the Savannah Preserve, one of the last remaining wetlands in the north fork of the St. Lucie River.
The Conservation Alliance is now fighting to delay pre-construction testing that is scheduled to begin Monday of next week.
Protestors argue even the testing can cause damage.
"They will be sending in ATV's…. there won't be any concern for any of whatever they're going to have to cut and run over," Anker said.
President of the Conservation Alliance, Shari Anker, says the organization has already filed a federal lawsuit against the project.
Monday, Anker says the organization filed a second lawsuit against The South Florida Water Management District, which approved permits for the city of Port St. Lucie and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to conduct pre-construction testing.
Anker hopes both of the lawsuits will delay the testing and the entire project as a whole.
Protestors are also calling for Governor Rick Scott to make the city pause its progress with the project.
Anker wants the construction to stop until the federal lawsuit is settled.
"It's gorgeous back there. It's a treasure here and once it's gone, it will never be again," Anker said.
“The fact that they’re willing to build a bridge over a park while there is an active federal lawsuit is concerning to us.” said protestor Ryan Abrams.
Abrams traveled all the way from Ft. Lauderdale to rally for preserving the park. "In Ft. Lauderdale, we have the New River. There are no mangroves left on the new river. That's going to be what happens here," Abrams said.
Supporters of the project say it will decrease drive times across the city and bring more traffic to business along U.S 1.
Protestors are urging project organizers to find a different route.
The city has also spent the summer appraising homes that would have to be demolished to make room for the expansion project.
The Conservation Alliance continues to urge homeowners to wait for the federal lawsuit to be settled until they sell their homes to the city, should the project be re-routed.