FDOT awards $3M grant for parkway that will connect Melbourne to Palm Bay
MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Brevard County officials say a $3 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation will help fund Phase I construction of the St. John's Heritage Parkway. The proposed route would connect Melbourne, West Melbourne and Palm Bay to the west of Interstate 95. Construction of the nearly 3.1-mile segment of the parkway is targeted to begin in October. Total cost of construction for Phase I is estimated at $16 million.
A second phase, estimated at nearly $14 million, will eventually complete a 5-mile arterial roadway from Palm Bay City limits north to Ellis Road. St. John's Heritage Parkway is expected to serve as a beltway around Interstate 95, reducing traffic on the interstate while accommodating local motorists employed by several Fortune 500 contractors.
It's anticipated the parkway will spur future residential and business development in South Brevard, and the north-south arterial roadway will connect to several east-west arterial roadways that would service as evacuation routes for coastal high-hazard areas and for other potential man-made or natural disasters.
An additional 3.2 miles of the parkway, funded by the state and city of Palm Bay, is already under construction from Malabar Road to the Palm Bay city limits.
The Transportation Regional Incentive Program grant was the result of a team effort by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Public Works finance staff, the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization and the local citizens group, Friends of the Parkway.
The project is expected to be advertised for construction bids in August, with awarding of a contract anticipated by the Board of County Commissioners in September and construction getting underway in October.