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St. Lucie County road closure causes major headaches for drivers

'A 10-minute trip is turning into 45,' driver says
Posted at 9:51 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 00:11:15-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Port St. Lucie road closure is causing major headaches for drivers on the Treasure Coast.

St. Lucie County officials said copious amounts of rain have saturated the land underneath Walton Road from Indian River Drive to Green River Parkway and that sinkholes could become a concern if traffic were to remain.

"It's definitely a headache," Port St. Lucie resident Lorena Alvarado said.

Alvarado said the new difficult detour is causing her to use more gas.

"A 10-minute trip is turning into 45," Alvarado said. "You know, it's, like, amazing."

Erick Gill, communications director for St. Lucie County, called it a safety concern.

"We just want to make sure we protect the integrity of the road and the motorists that are traveling on it," Gill said.

Gill said because drivers have been getting out of their cars to move plastic barriers blocking Walton Road, metal barriers will soon be installed to eliminate traffic.

"A lot of the neighborhood flooding we saw this past week were because people are mowing and not cleaning the debris out of the swales," Gill said. "If they have culverts that their driveway go over, that's their private property and they should be making sure those culverts are clean and the water is flowing through it so that it doesn't back up somebody else's neighborhood."

Residents will now have to travel up to Fort Pierce or down to Jensen Beach in order to reach U.S. Highway 1.

Gill said there is nowhere to pump the water and that the closure could remain in place for a week or more if the rain continues before the savannas are able to dry out.

"There is a lot of people that have been inconvenienced because of the flooding, so I'm just hoping for the best," Alvarado said.