PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Extending State Road 7, Roebuck Road and Jog Road have been the topic of debate for years. The main kink in the discussion right now is the city of West Palm Beach. In a joint meeting Tuesday, Palm Beach County commissioners were hoping to end the debate or at least come to some compromise.
Unfortunately, a representative from West Palm Beach didn't show up to discuss the project.
What's being proposed is an extension of State Road 7 to Northlake Boulevard. The extension would be seven miles long.
Another extension project is extending Roebuck Road to connect to State Road 7 near Okeechobee Boulevard behind three different housing communities.
The third extension project is extending Jog Road by two miles, but the problem officials from the Indian Trails Improvement District, the Village of Royal Palm Beach, the Florida Department of Transportation and Palm Beach County face is that the city of West Palm Beach says the projects are a danger to the environment.
They say the projects go through the city's water catchment area.
"If they're really asking us to have environmentally compatible roads then they really need to be advocating for the same on the north end of their water catchment area on Northlake Boulevard," Indian Trails Improvement District President Michelle Damone said.
Damone said these projects, especially State Road 7, are needed to connect the western community to the rest of the county.
"If we have a fire, or if there is a category four hurricane, or there is an accident on Northlake, we have no route that would appropriately evacuate 40,000 people," she said.
To solve this problem, county commissioners held a joint meeting for FDOT, Royal Palm Beach, Indian Trails Improvement District, the county and the city of West Palm Beach, but West Palm Beach didn't show up.
"We really needed to have this dialogue instead of just doing things to oppose each other, so it's unfortunate they didn't come," Commissioner Karen Marcus said.
So the standoff continues and in the meantime, State Road 7 is still planned to extend to Northlake Boulevard. The project that can't move forward is the Jog Road extension.
"Jog Road is being stopped by the city of West Palm Beach and until they enter into an agreement with us, we can't do Jog Road," Marcus said.
Commissioner Marcus hopes possibly taking the Roebuck Road extension project off the five-year-plan will bring West Palm Beach to the table.
"Since we're all trying to work together here and are willing to take Roebuck out, I'm hoping that's an option that will satisfy them," Marcus said.
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