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Project to expand Florida's Turnpike between Jupiter, Fort Pierce could soon be approved

Two new exits could be added to Port St. Lucie
Posted at 10:22 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 13:27:44-04

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Traffic engineers with the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise want to expand a section of the Turnpike along the Treasure Coast.

The 37-mile stretch of roadway is located between Indiantown Road in Jupiter and Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce.

If approved, lanes going in both directions would be doubled from two to four.

"Four lanes would be great," said Ingrid Jaehnig, a driver. "Because for example, if there's an accident, you know, it still might slow down traffic but it's still safe enough for people to continue going instead of stopping everything."

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise formed nearly 20 ago and focuses on how to improve existing highways.

In the proposal are two new exits in Port St. Lucie at Crosstown Parkway and Midway Road.

Transportation officials said traffic in that area could double by 2045.

"People who use it, pay for it and taxpayers are not taxed for this," said Angela Starke, of Florida's Turnpike Enterprise. "When toll revenue dollars come in we look at the budget and determine which projects are going to move forward."

If approved, the $1.6 billion proposal will then enter the design stage, followed by land acquisition and finally construction.

Currently, there is no timeline for completion in place.

"I'd rather be on a highway where it's just a good flow and I feel safe so for us, our travel is great," Jaehnig said.