Allowing night work would enable St. Lucie County to speed up the $3.3 million renovation of heavily congested Prima Vista Boulevard between U.S. 1 and Airoso Boulevard that’s set to start Oct. 1.
An average of 39,000 vehicles per day travel on Prima Vista Boulevard, the eastern gateway to St. Lucie West, records show. The road fails to meet congestion standards during morning and evening rush hours.
County commissioners are set to vote in October on whether to allow the contractor to work between the hours of 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., said County Engineer Kim Graham. Current work hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The resurfacing and drainage work is expected to wrap up in September 2020. The night work would accelerate the construction timeline by a month or two, Graham said.
About a dozen residents participated in an informal survey about the night work during a public meeting about the road project on Sept. 11 at Port St. Lucie Community Center. They were about evenly split.
Several residents said they can’t wait to bid “hasta la vista” to rush-hour traffic jams on Prima Vista Boulevard after the Sept. 28 opening of the Crosstown Parkway Bridge to U.S. 1. The parkway is expected to draw traffic from Prima Vista and Port St. Lucie boulevards, the city’s two main east-west corridors.
“For me, it’ll be a lot more convenient just to use Crosstown,” said Jeff Chiyka, a small business owner. “Out of season, it’s not bad, except during rush hour,” he said about the traffic on Prima Vista Boulevard. “During season it can get pretty backed up.”
“With lane closures, it’ll be a little challenging,” Chiyka said. “But once Crosstown is open, hopefully everybody will be smart and head south.”
“A nightmare,” is how Huntley Forrester, of the Calvary Open Bible Community Church, described rush-hour traffic on Prima Vista Boulevard. Forrester said he looks forward to the Crosstown Parkway Bridge opening to make it easier to get to the stores and offices in St. Lucie West. “Crosstown Parkway is heaven sent,” Forrester said.