International Drive opened on a rainy Wednesday, 12 years after voters approved funding for the project.
International Drive starts near the Lowes Food in Carolina Forest and ends at Highway 90 next to River’s Edge Plantation subdivision. The speed limit on the road is set at 45 mph for most the road. Google Maps now recognizes the road as open and will use it to help drivers get to their destination.
There is a bicycle lane on both sides of the road. A fence lines the street to keep animals off the road.
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The wildlife and environment surrounding the road makes for nice scenery and will keep business from moving in as much of the land is protected. The protected land along International is one of the main reasons the road took so long to build.
Voters approved funding for the road in 2006, but it hit a major snag when an environmentalist group’s lawsuit halted construction.
After a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit last year, rain and bad weather delayed the project several times.
Given much of the surrounding land is protected, International Drive will not have as many businesses like Highway 501 or Route 544 heading toward the ocean. That said, the Carolina Forest part of International Drive is home to shopping centers, fast food restaurants and an elementary school .
A CVS and storage facility are currently under construction in the area.