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Businesses, drivers finally seeing light at the end of Crosstown Parkway Extension bridge

Posted at 4:28 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 18:37:25-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It's been two years in the making and more than a decade of planning, but the Crosstown Parkway Extension bridge is finally opening Saturday in Port St. Lucie.

"We brightened up the yellow and just kind of colored in the flames a little bit," said Bill Fitzgerald, owner of Village Green Tire and Auto shop on U.S. 1.

Fitzgerald wants his freshly painted sign truck to be the first thing drivers see next to his business when they come over the Crosstown Parkway Extension onto U.S. 1.

"Six to eight months ago, I didn't think we'd be here, that's how tight it was," said Fitzgerald, who added his sales dropped more than 40 percent since construction of the bridge began in 2017. "Most stressful time of my life."

But now the opening of the bridge is opening a new opportunity for all businesses at the east and west base ends of the bridge.

"We're hoping it that it does bring more people, since we're kind of tucked back here," said Megan Turner, a bartender at Side Door Brewing Company off Village Green Drive.

And drivers are looking forward to shorter commutes. The bridge adds a much needed connection over the north fork of the St. Lucie River.

"This is going to help a lot of people trying to get to Tradition and St. Lucie West and the highway as well," said Angela Amante, who works in Port St. Lucie. "A lot of people are going or try it at first, so we'll see how it works."

Fitzgerald feels he's finally seeing the light at the end of the, well, bridge.

"The future is bright," Fitzgerald laughed.

The Crosstown Parkway Extension bridge will open at 4 p.m. Saturday after a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. and a block party on the western base of the bridge on Crosstown Parkway near Floresta Drive.