St. Lucie County to Receive $1.2 Million in State Funding for Trails

St. Lucie County’s Environment Resources Department is set to receive more than $1.2 million in state funding to connect five different segments of the East Coast Greenway Trail (ECG). The ECG is a 3,000-mile, traffic-free greenway system, linking many of the major cities of the eastern seaboard between Canada and Key West.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced recently that all of St. Lucie County’s submitted projects were included in the state’s selection of first-year projects to receive funding under the Shared Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail program. Statewide a total of $44,434,543 was awarded to 45 separate projects located across 21 counties. St. Lucie County’s Environmental Resources Department manages much of the local trail systems within the county’s 10,000-acre preserve system and staff has fostered trail links and acquisition programs since the birth of the county’s greenway trail vision in the early 1990s.
St. Lucie County will be partnering with the City of Fort Pierce, City of Port St. Lucie, and the Savannas Preserve State Park to allocate grant funds for the following ECG trail segments:
·       Historic Downtown Fort Pierce Retrofit – Georgia Avenue to North A1A (connecting downtown Fort Pierce to North A1A and Vero Beach)
·       Historic Highwayman Trail Gap – Indian Hills Drive to George Avenue (connecting downtown Fort Pierce to Indian Hills Recreation Area)
·       FEC Railroad Overpass Savannas Recreation Area – Savannah Road to Midway Road (connecting Indian Hills Recreation Area to Savannas Recreation Area)
·       Indian Hills Recreation Trail Retrofit  – South Savannah Road to Indian Hills Drive (retrofitting trails within Indian Hills Recreation area to ECG surface and width standards)
·       Savannas Preserve State Park Gap – Walton Road to Midway Road (Greenriver Parkway at Walton Road to Savannas Preserve State Park and Savannas Recreation Area)
This is the first year of a five-year work plan to bring these entities together alongside FDOT, the St. Lucie Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) to design, acquire and establish rights-of-way, and finalize the trail route that works best for the community. The end result of the first year will being the county closer, if not ready for construction, in the near future.
“We have a fantastic opportunity to bring this national trail system to our community and to link many of existing resources and trail infrastructure within the county,” explained St. Lucie County ERD Director Amy Griffin. “These projects will help us rekindle the stalled greenways and trails program and create a backbone for the entire 75 miles of greenways and trails throughout the county. Additional trails will be located in scenic locations, such as along the North Fork St. Lucie River, as well as, provide linkages to our preserves in western St. Lucie County.”
More than 30 percent of the ECG route is already on traffic-free greenways, creating safe, accessible routes for people of all ages and abilities. The ECG fosters healthy lifestyles, empowers sustainable transportation, and promotes ecotourism.
“The ECG will bring tourism and link trail users to our county natural resources, parks and preserves, passive and active recreation opportunities including fishing, camping, wildlife viewing, and to our community economic centers such as downtown Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie,” added Griffin.
An example of a recently completed section of the ECG is the new Greenriver Parkway in Port St. Lucie or the Savannas Recreation Area off of Midway Road in south Fort Pierce.
For more information about the county’s environmental preserves contact the St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department at 772-462-2526 or visit the county’s interactive map at:

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