Today, December 23, 2016, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) entered its Final Order resulting in the issuance of an Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) and a sovereignty submerged lands (SSL) easement for the City’s Crosstown Parkway Extension Project (the “Project”). With issuance of the permit and easement, the City now has the green light for construction to begin on this very important Project. The Crosstown Parkway Extension will provide Port St. Lucie’s crucial third east-west crossing of the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, connecting the existing Crosstown Parkway from Manth Lane, east to U.S. Highway 1 at Village Green Drive. It will alleviate traffic congestion, improve public safety, help reduce travel times, enhance mobility and provide a new evacuation route.
“What the Crosstown Parkway Extension Project means to Port St. Lucie is far more than can be communicated by a quote said Mayor Gregory Oravec. The citizens and staff have been working on the third crossing over the River for decades. In a special election nearly 12 years ago, 89 percent of the voters approved an increase in our taxes to pay for it. The Bridge is critically needed for transportation, economic development, emergency response and evacuation. Yet, it means even more than the sum of these important parts. Since we received this critical permit, Etta James’ “At Last” has played more than once in my mind, and, in 2017, we will all see the long-awaited construction of the Crosstown Bridge begin…at last.”
The Final Order is the result of a case concerning a challenge to the SFWMD’s intent to issue the ERP and SSL easement for the Project. Both the ERP and the SSL easement are necessary for the City to move forward with the construction of the Project. The challenge, which was filed by the Petitioners, resulted in a Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) evidentiary proceeding that occurred July 12, 2016 through July 13, 2016.