Residents react to State Road 7 extension

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 18:57:49-04

From construction to completion, State Road 7 is about to stretch to Northlake Boulevard.

That’s welcome news to Judy Croke, of The Acreage. “It's going to make it easier,” she said. “I’ve lived here for 17 years and it's kind of hard to get in and out of here when I was working.”

A new four-lane divided road will extend north from 60th Street North to Northlake Boulevard,following approval of a permit for construction from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“This was a victory for the citizens,” said Fred Pinto, the mayor of Royal Palm Beach. “In times of emergency, it really becomes important to give people an evacuation route to get out of harm's way so to speak and get to a safe area.”

But for years, West Palm Beach city leaders fought to stop the extension. They spent more than $2 million tax dollars for legal fees. Their concerns are harming the Grassy Waters Preserve and water contamination.
“I go back and forth with it,” said Debbie Hackl of Loxahatchee. “That's our our wetlands. That's our nature, our animals, our preserve. Don't want to mess that up.”
Construction on the extension could begin as early as fall next year.

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio issued this statement about the project:

“Of course, we are disappointed. We have a history of documentation from the US Army Corps of Engineers indicating that they think the extension of State Road 7 is a bad idea. We will be reviewing all of our options including appeal.”