PORT ST. LUCIE (Feb. 3, 2017) – Today marks another milestone for the Crosstown Parkway Extension Project. In a swift decision, a federal appellate court today affirmed that the route for the Crosstown Bridge was properly selected after careful and thoughtful analysis regarding its impacts to the environment, the community and numerous other pertinent factors under the federal NEPA Act.The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs (US Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration) rejecting the appeal filed by the Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County, Inc. and Treasure Coast Environmental Defense Fund, Inc.
“This unanimous affirmation, which specifically recognizes that the route for the Crosstown Bridge was properly selected after careful, thoughtful consideration, comes on the heels of the City prevailing in a separate but related administrative challenge. Thus, all legal challenges to date have been rebuffed, and we are on the verge of making a longstanding community dream come true,” said Port St. Lucie Mayor Greg Oravec. “Almost 12 years ago, 89 percent of voters agreed to tax themselves to pay for this bridge. That is a level of commitment we seldom see, and, as a result, we are completely committed to overcoming any obstacle thrown in our way in order to deliver this incredibly important project to our citizens.”
Today’s ruling recognized the multi-year, multi-agency planning and permitting process that the City followed, as well as the comprehensive regulatory and proprietary mitigation plans prepared and submitted by the City. The Court specifically found that “the beneficial effects of these efforts well exceed the potential negative impacts of Alternative 1C, and the care in which they were considered evinces a careful and thorough analysis”.
With this news, the project and construction will continue to move forward. The contractor is still pending the final permits from the US Army Corps of Engineers and US Coast Guard. For more information, we invite the community to a Construction Public Information Meeting on Monday, March 6, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with an official presentation at 6 p.m. at the Port St. Lucie Community Center. Residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the project and speak directly with those working on it.
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.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the Honorable Marcus, Dubina and Walker of the Eleventh Circuit for so expeditiously delivering the Court’s opinion in this important case and to congratulate the whole team, including the USDOT, FHWA, FDOT, our legal and project teams and our citizens,” Mayor Oravec said. “We are looking forward to receiving the last two federal permits, a public construction coordination meeting on March 6 and seeing vertical construction soon thereafter.”
For more information regarding the Crosstown Parkway Extension Project, please contact Beth Zsoka, project public information officer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 772-871-5176 or Sarah Prohaska, city public information officer at email@example.com or 772-873-6326.