The St. Lucie County Fire District plans to build a new $2.8 million Fire Station No. 5 near Port St. Lucie Boulevard and U.S. 1 to replace an antiquated facility.
The new 8,300-square-foot fire station will be located about 3/4th of a mile east of the 45-year-old Fire Station No. 5 at 1616 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd.
The City Council Monday approved the site plan for the new fire station on a 2.3-acre site on Delano Road, a block north of the boulevard.
Construction is set to start in April and be completed in eight to 10 months, said Fire Chief Nate Spera in an interview Tuesday.
The new Station 5 will be similar in appearance and layout to the new Station 3 at 480 SW Ravenswood Lane, which was dedicated in April 2018.
The new Station No. 5 is needed because the old one no longer meets the Fire District’s needs, Spera said.
The new building will comply with modern hurricane resistance standards, so the six workers stationed there during each shift will be safer during storms, Spera said. The station built in 1974 predates those standards.
A fire engine, a rescue vehicle and a brush truck are assigned to Station No. 5, but the building only has two bays, so one truck stays parked outside, Spera said.
In addition, the old station’s driveway feeds directly onto bustling Port St. Lucie Boulevard, which can cause a safety hazard when emergency vehicles have to cope with fast-moving traffic, Spera said.
“There are some safety issues there; we’ve had some accidents when the equipment was pulling out,” Spera said. “Just getting it off the main road was critical.”
A new emergency traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Port St. Lucie Boulevard and Delano Road to allow emergency vehicles quick access to the boulevard, city records show.
The Fire District bought the land for $400,000 in July 2017 from J.C. & M.L. Associates LLC of Vero Beach, city records show.
A gopher tortoise on the site is being relocated to a mitigation site, city records show.
Once the new station is completed, the Fire District will decide what to do with the old one, Spera said. It may be sold to offset the costs of the new station or be transferred to the city government.