PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Port St. Lucie city leaders and project officials with the Crosstown Parkway Bridge project met with several hundred city residents in a public meeting Monday.
City Manager Russ Blackburn said the meeting was likely the last public forum before the official groundbreaking of the expansion project.
For residents, it was possibly a final chance to ask questions and address concerns directly to those most closely involved with the construction.
Dozens of people asked questions about safety, the environment, the plan and the timeline.
Many also asked questions about a "super street" planned for the intersection of Floresta Drive and what will become Crosstown Parkway.
It is something never before seen in the state, according to Blackburn, and neighbors wanted to be sure it would be safe, and not cause more traffic issues.
“It’s new and different. Something we haven’t seen in Port St. Lucie,” Blackburn said.
Project officials say the design will not allow drivers to travel straight through the intersection. They would have to take a right turn, then make a U-turn, followed by another right turn.
Designers of the project say it’s the smartest layout to make sure traffic does not build up.
First responders would still have the ability to travel straight through the intersection so response times would not delay.
Resident Robbie Dubois lives right across the street from the planned super street.
“It’s going to alleviate a lot of the traffic problems so you’ll be able to get out and about a lot faster,” he said.
Dubois bought his house specifically to be close to the bridge.
Right now, he sees churned up dirt and construction equipment outside his window. Eventually, it will be the site of a pond and sidewalks.
“That’s the only reason I bought this house. I bought it a year ago the end of April.”
Blackburn says the city is waiting for two more permits to continue construction from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S Coast Guard.
The official groundbreaking is scheduled for May 9.
The project is expected to be completed near the end of 2019.