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Controversial State Road 7 extension in Palm Beach County moving forward

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Posted at 1:15 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 13:15:47-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A controversial plan to extend State Road 7 in The Acreage to ease traffic is moving forward.

On Thursday, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency approved adding a four-lane extension of State Road 7 from 60th Street to Northlake Boulevard to its long-range 25-year transportation plan.

Under the $53 million plan, construction on the extension would start in 2024.

WPTV spoke to residents in The Acreage earlier this week who said traffic is bumper-to-bumper many days on Northlake Boulevard.

"My job is 25 minutes away, and it took me last Thursday, took me an hour and 15 minutes," said Marcia Murray.

"My wife tries to get into that traffic and you have to take a chance and a gamble," said Marcia's husband, Chris Murray.

However, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James worries the construction will affect the environment.

"We don't want it going through the Grassy Waters," said Mayor James earlier this week. "We don't want it going through that particular location. It's the source of our drinking water here in the city."

Grassy Waters Preserve is a 23-square mile wetlands ecosystem that serves as the freshwater supply for the City of West Palm Beach and the towns of South Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island.

With the TPA's approval, the State Road 7 extension will now enter the planning stages.