Several major road construction projects are underway in Wellington, including Forest Hill Blvd. south of Wellington Trace, which has led to some traffic delays, and the long-planned Saddle Trail Park water main and paving project.
Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes said the Forest Hill Blvd. culvert project is due for substantial completion by Nov. 29.
He said two weeks were added to the project because of work the village added, but the lane reduction now in effect will be done before that.
The $1.257 million project has narrowed the existing four-lane section to two lanes to enable construction, which is taking place Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with occasional evening utility projects. Work is suspended on Sundays.
Residents are advised to use extra caution in the area. Local and pass-through traffic is encouraged to use Wellington Trace or Big Blue Trace as alternatives to avoid the construction.
The Forest Hill project includes the replacement of the existing culvert and filling an accompanying low-lying area near the culvert. The project also will replace an existing, failing 30-inch culvert with a new 60-inch reinforced concrete culvert, and reconstruct about 820 feet of roadway, including striping and signage, concrete curbing and sidewalks, drainage piping and structures, landscaping, irrigation, grading and sodding. The project remains on budget.
The Palm Beach County Traffic Division was notified of the need for additional green light time for southbound Forest Hill’s approach to Wellington Trace and agreed to increase it. Traffic was reported to be moving more smoothly through the intersection since the adjustment was made.
The Saddle Trail Park paving and water main project is behind schedule because of inadequate allocation of work crews, who were laying only about 100 feet of water line a day, according to Village Manager Paul Schofield.
“That number is now up to between 400 and 500,” Schofield said. “They put more crews out there, and they’re going to a six-day workweek.”
Schofield said he met with the project engineer to get the project on schedule and coordinate with the residents. He is now having weekly team meetings with the contractor and has put a full-time inspector on the project.
“We’ve got some survey work being done to ensure that the rough grading is in the correct place,” he said, explaining that some residents had questioned some bridle trails being only 8 feet wide. “That has something to do with trees being next to the right-of-way and fences. We’re out physically knocking on doors again telling folks, ‘If you don’t take your fences down, we’re going to remove them.’ This will be the third time that we’ve done that, but we need to get them done.”
Schofield said the water line is more than 50 percent complete, all the water drainage structures have been replaced and put in correctly, and the subgrade is in place.
“We’ve got some of our own survey work being done on those bridle paths to make sure that they are where they need to be,” Schofield said. “The critical point from the staff’s standpoint on Saddle Trail is the configuration off the bridle path. They need to be 14 feet wide as the plan calls for, and they need to be at that relatively shallow slope.”
Schofield said the contractor told him he can meet the substantial completion date of Nov. 15, based on the increased construction activity, with final completion set for Dec. 15.
“I’m not going to commit to that until I know that they have completed the water system,” he said.
Construction commenced May 23. Almost 2,000 feet of water main was installed between Aug. 18 and Aug. 24. The contractor must install a minimum average of 250 feet of water main per day in order to complete the water main installation by its scheduled completion date of Sept. 30.
As for other road projects in the village:
• The 120th Avenue South paving project is scheduled for final completion on Nov. 7, but will reach substantial completion allowing the road to be used by Oct. 9. The project is about three weeks ahead of schedule.
• The $550,000 Fairlane Farms and Stribling Way traffic circle project is scheduled for substantial completion by Sept. 29. The project is about five weeks behind schedule due to an unforeseen issue of finding buried utilities.
• A $350,000 Pierson Road project, straightening a portion of the road by the Palm Beach Equine Center, is on schedule. The roadway subgrade has been installed on the north side of the road, and drainage manholes and piping are being installed.
• The $580,000 Aero Club multiuse path is to be complete by Dec. 30.
• A contractor is being selected for a privately funded $1.2 million improvement project at Pierson Road and South Shore Blvd.
• A privately funded $2.4 million storm canal and drainage improvement project on 40th Street west of South Shore Blvd. is due for completion by Oct. 31.