WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Twenty road projects are on the books for 2023 in Palm Beach County.
In the next five years, county engineers plan to make road expansions, intersection improvements and several pedestrian safety initiatives to keep up with growing traffic demands.
However, plans to relieve major congestion on Northlake Boulevard west of Military Trail are not part of it.
New developments are currently popping up all over the county.
Once construction of new communities in Westlake are complete, there will be about 10,000 more homes in the Acreage and Loxahatchee.
"With all the people that's going to be out there, we need another road out there, another east-to-west road," Robert O'Neil, who lives in Loxahatchee, said.
He is one of many drivers looking to the county for solutions.
Recently the county engineering department scrapped the consideration of a $400,000 study to widen Northlake Boulevard east of Beeline Highway.
"Upon further review, we learned that this was going to be almost 15 to 20 years in the future," county engineer David Ricks said. "Doing a study now I don't think is cost-effective."
County Commissioner Maria Marino said her office was inundated with calls about the study, and she wanted it on the record that the county would cease further discussions on Northlake Boulevard expansions east of Beeline Highway.
"Any widening there would put homeowners out of their homes, businesses out of their businesses, cost the county hundreds of million dollars to acquire the right of way," Marino said.
Several road projects in the county are still underway, including expanding parts of 60th Street North near Westlake.
"I actually live out on Loxahatchee, way out at the end of Northlake, and it's terrible all the way to the end, all the way to Seminole Pratt [Whitney Road]," O'Neil said.
Included in the county's five-year road plan are intersection improvements, including bike lane expansions and pedestrian safety initiatives.
Added development and increased traffic through West Palm Beach's downtown prompted commissioners on Tuesday to discuss building a pedestrian crossover over Okeechobee Boulevard at the convention center. That discussion is to be continued.