STUART, Fla. — Gov. Bob Martinez drove a 1929 Ford Model A truck Saturday to open the final 33-mile stretch of Interstate 95, a superhighway that began snaking its way from Miami to Maine 32 years ago.
"Our North and South are linked," Martinez told the 200 officials at the opening ceremonies.
Workers late Friday put the finishing touches on the highway west of here. Work on the $222-million project began in 1985.
Rep. Tom Lewis (R-Fla.) called it a long, tough fight to finish the so-called missing link of the interstate.
Doubt About Completion
"There were times of some doubt that the federal government would see this through," Lewis said.
In addition to traffic relief for Florida's turnpike and U.S. 1, Lewis said Interstate 95 was another evacuation route in case of an emergency, such as a major hurricane.
The long-awaited stretch of highway runs from northeastern Palm Beach County into Martin County, loops west across the Florida Turnpike and then meanders toward the coast to connect with what used to be a dead-end stretch of the highway in St. Lucie County.