This project involves improvements to the Beeline Highway (SR710) in Martin County, Florida to increase capacity and improve safety. The new roadway will provide two lanes of traffic in each direction separated by a median. Improvements include complete replacement of the existing "Big John Monahan Bridge" over the St. Lucie Canal with new twin structures also carrying two lanes of traffic in each direction and new sidewalks. The project limits are from SW Trail Drive on the west side of the St. Lucie Canal to east of the S.R. 76 connector ramps on the east side of the Canal. The total length of the project is approximately 1.50 miles (1.32 miles of roadway and 954 feet of bridge). SR 710 is a designated hurricane evacuation route and part of Florida's Strategic Intermodal System (SIS).This project is the first in a series of SR 710 improvements that will expand the corridor to ensure the mobility of people and goods, enhance economic prosperity and preserve the quality of our environment and communities.
During the World War I period a hand-operated ferry crossing located northwest of the project site in what is now known as Timer Powers Park was the sole means of crossing the St. Lucie Canal. A one-way swing bridge was constructed in 1927 to replace the ferry and on June 22, 1965, the original Big John Monahan Bridge was opened to traffic. The opening ushered in an era that would see the SR 710 corridor in Martin County become part of the SIS and a primary hurricane evacuation route. This section of SR 710 is expected to carry more than 25,000 vehicles each day in the interim design year. Inspections by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) have concluded that the existing bridge is functionally obsolete and should be replaced.