Boynton taxpayers on hook for traffic 'fix-it'

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The section of Dixie Highway near the intersection with Federal Highway had been a quiet stretch.

"Now it almost looks like a construction zone," said Linda Stabile of Wall St., which intersects with Dixie Highway.

Indeed, down the street from Linda Stabile's home, construction for apartment complex Seabourn Cove has started.

And even though signs warn trucks not to go beyond Miller St., neighbors insist they do anyway.

Then there's the new Wal-Mart.

It pleased neighbors by going back on its original plan to use Dixie Highway as a delivery route, but Stabile says it hasn't put the brakes on traffic because not all their suppliers have gotten the message.

In short, Dixie Highway has become a place they're tired of.

"It's made it miserable to say the least," said Stabile.

She started a petition, which two dozen neighbors signed, asking for the city to come up with a solution.

Tuesday night, commissioners will decide whether to lop off the road in the middle and make it a dead end to force trucks out of the neighborhood.

"We would once again have our quality of life restored," said Stabile.

But it would come with a price.

City officials say it would cost taxpayers nearly $20,000 to temporarily close the road, or $107,000 to permanently close it.

Neither figure is budgeted for this year, angering City Commissioner Steven Holzman, who says past boards should have put in place safeguards that would have required Wal-Mart or Seabourn Cove to pay for the "fix-it.'

"Now the citizens of the city are forced to pay for something that should have been paid for by someone else," said Holzman.

City documents anticipate the problem will be made better when the Seabourn construction is over, but traffic from Wal-Mart is still five percent higher than anticipated since it opened two years ago. 

"We have many tractor trailers coming through. I don't think it's fair at all," said Stabile.

Wal-Mart released a statement to us saying they were "sorry" about the traffic problem and that they were working with truck drivers to make sure they were aware trucks should not use Federal Highway to make deliveries.

Seabourn Cove told NewsChannel5 that they did not want to comment.

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