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West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio continues fight against State Road 7 extension

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 04:18:35-04

There is a new chapter in the running battle to extend State Road 7 and link western areas to West Palm Beach.

After losing in the courts, West Palm Beach city leaders are now looking for help from the federal government to stop what they say are environmental problems.

The Army Corps of Engineers has yet to grant a permit for the project, so that's mayor Jeri Muoio's focus right now.

Trish Watkins of The Acreage says that over the years on Northlake Blvd., the traffic has been slowly increasing as more people move to the area.

"As far as first responders being able to get in, our response times are horrible," says Watkins.

That's just one of several reasons she says State Road 7 needs to connect Okeechobee and Northlake boulevards.

"For the locals to have a better direct route to outlying communities," says Watkins.

West Palm Beach city leaders have spent millions of dollars in legal fees fighting the extension.  

There are environmental concerns.

"We think that building a road through our water supply is a bad idea. We also think building through the Everglades is a bad idea," says Mayor Jeri Muoio.

The city lost its legal battle in March, but just last week, Muoio met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

She plans to meet with the Corps' regional office in Jacksonville to discuss the project as well.