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New I-95, St. Lucie West Boulevard bridge work frustrates drivers

Construction anticipated to be completed early this year, says Florida Department of Transportation
Posted at 12:07 AM, Jan 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-04 02:29:31-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — If you drive over the bridge on St. Lucie West Boulevard and Interstate 95, you’re no stranger to lots of traffic.

"It’s all backed up for three junctions back here, back to where the Walmart one is back to like California, so it gets really backed up," Port St. Lucie resident Fiona Dickens said.

Another resident, Tracey Maccia, said, “the traffic is very frustrating, it's very congested because there's only one lane to get onto 95 from that lane so people are you know coming from the right to the left lane and it's dangerous.”

Bridge plans for Interstate 95 and St. Lucie West Boulevard.
bridge on St. Lucie West Boulevard and I-95.

The Florida Department of Transportation has been working on a project to expand the bridge since January 2022. When the project is completed, there will be two westbound and eastbound lanes over I-95 as well as new entrance and exit ramps onto I-95.

However, residents say they’re fed up with the construction.

"The construction was well underway when we got here and that was November of 2022 and it's been like that for such a long time," Dickens said.

Karen Lessard lives in Tradition and frequents the area. She said, "it seems like every time I go over it there doesn't seem to be much action going on."

Many people said they avoid crossing the bridge all together.

"I avoid it by just taking another route and it actually takes me longer to get home, but it's worth not having to deal with the traffic," Maccia said.

"It’s too packed all the time. there's always a line so I wind up using another road," Lessard said.

In a statement, FDOT said the newest anticipated completion date is early this year.

The Port St. Lucie West Boulevard Widening Project began on January 24, 2022, with an anticipated completion date of early 2024. Here is a link to our project website with detailed project info and photos: FDOT Treasure Coast Construction -- St. Lucie West Boulevard Widening Project. FDOT does not usually advertise specific project completion dates because there may be slight delays and resulting time added to the construction contract due to weather, holidays or other unforeseen circumstances. Currently, this project is anticipated to be completed within the initial allowable contract time.

Traffic will significantly improve once the project is completed and the travel lanes are in their final configuration. This will include two westbound through lanes over the bridge, two dedicated right turn lanes when headed westbound to the northbound I-95 entrance ramp, two eastbound travel lanes over I-95, and; additional lanes when headed eastbound at the off-ramp from northbound I-95.

The construction team has been working very closely with the City of Port St. Lucie Traffic Operations Office during construction to reduce congestion and optimize traffic at this important interchange. Once the project is completed, the City of Port St. Lucie will be able to synchronize the traffic signals at this intersection with the rest of the city-wide traffic signal network and further improve traffic flows at this interchange.

Residents said the completion date can’t come soon enough.

"I was hoping it would be done before it got super busy here for the winter, but hopefully I'd like to see something maybe by the spring," Lessard said.