St.Lucie County commissioners set to hear two plans for widening of Midway Road

St. Lucie County commissioners will hear two separate measures at their 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting that affect plans to widen Midway Road between U.S. 1 and Selvitz Road from two lanes to four lanes.

One item is a request from the Florida Department of Transportation to purchase an eighth of an acre at White City Park for $125,000.

The second item involves the county paying the city of Port St. Lucie $15,000 for the southern half of Canal 103 and pledging to do $309,100 worth of landscape improvements at the canal, Selvitz Road and Newark Lane.

St. Lucie County and the FDOT are partnering on a $60 million project to widen about 2.5 miles of Midway between U.S. 1 and Selvitz Road from two to four lanes. The project includes installing a traffic signal at the intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and Midway, adding landscaping and installing sidewalks, a median, bike lanes and landscaping, said county engineer Michael Powley.

FDOT will be responsible for widening Midway from U.S. 1 west to South 25th Street, which includes a section going over the St. Lucie River near White City Park, while the county will build the stretch from South 25th Street, west to Selvitz Road, Powley said.

County staff recommends the commission reject the state’s offer and counter with $279,550 to cover the impact the road widening project will have on the park’s restroom.

The project would shift the park’s entrance west and make the pathway go through the park’s restroom and septic drain field, said Mark Dimascio, county division manager of parks and special facilities. The county wants to move the restrooms farther south near the existing boat ramps and playground, Dimascio said.

However, staff recommends the commission approve Port St. Lucie’s offer.

The road project also includes raising the road’s height about 2 feet in the state section, 3 to 5 feet for a portion of the road over the North Fork of the St. Lucie River and a foot in the county’s section.

Construction on the county portion will start between June and December, Powley said. The state will start its construction in late summer 2015, said FDOT spokeswoman Barbara Kelleher. Powley estimates the entire project will last 18 to 24 months.

The widening project is needed to improve traffic on the two-lane road and to help with evacuations, he said.

Powley estimates 20,000 vehicles a day travel the road and puts the road’s level of service at an “F.” Normally, a two-lane can handle 13,000 to 15,000 vehicles a day, he said.

“A level of service ‘F’ means conditions are almost like a parking lot,” Powley said. “Vehicles are not making the traffic signalization and you have to wait for the next arrow to turn right or left.”

This story will be updated.

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