By Debbie Carson, Online Editor
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The intersection at 43rd Avenue and 5th Street SW will close on Thursday – one year to the day since the county bid out the construction work planned for the area.
The $1.83 million project has been off and on “boy, since I can’t remember,” said County Engineer Chris Kafer. Drivers will have to use 58th Avenue to get around the intersection closure starting Thursday, Oct. 15, until Friday, Oct. 30. The closures will be daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kafer said road work got started sometime around February and was held up due to problems with relocating power, water and sewer lines. Communications lines, too, needed to be moved out of the way for crews to make the improvements to the intersection.
The county has had to work with officials from Florida Power and Light to relocate power line poles at the intersection. The county has also realized that crews will need to relocate a water main in the area.
Once complete, each leg of the intersection will have three lanes – one in each direction and a left-turn lane.
Already, the bridge at 5th Street, immediately east of 43rd Avenue, has been shut down for its own improvements.
“The bridge is not up to current standards,” Kafer said.
Crews will be adding a third lane to the bridge to accommodate left turns from 5th Street south onto 43rd Avenue.
A traffic signal is also going to be installed at the intersection to better assist traffic flow. Kafer said that drivers on 5th Street have found it difficult to turn south onto 43rd Avenue without a turn lane, much less a traffic signal.
Drivers with questions about the intersection’s closure or detour should contact Geoff Bass, in Public Works, by calling (772) 226-1547.