The Village of Wellington is planning construction of a new metal guardrail along the curve on Birkdale Drive near Pine Valley Drive.
The guardrail will be installed to address safety concerns at the sharp bend in the road, Wellington’s Senior Engineer Patrick Barthelemy said.
“What we have been experiencing for a couple of years now is that our Public Works Department is constantly replacing the signs that are in the swales. Those signs are typical curve signs, showing an arrow, and they’ve been replacing those signs pretty frequently,” he said. “You can tell from ruts in the swale that there are cars that have been going off the pavement in that area.”
There are homes close to the curve of the road, and at least one accident occurred a few years ago when a car stopped close to a resident’s pool, Barthelemy recalled.
“This is more or less a 90-degree curve,” he said. “It’s not difficult to negotiate if you’re going at the proper speed, but if you’re going faster than that, or you’re inebriated, or you’re not paying attention, you could go off the road there. There are some homes that are pretty close.”
This made Wellington officials look at ways to make the curve safer.
“We were concerned about safety, and we’re getting pretty tired of replacing signs,” Barthelemy said. “We decided it was time to look at other options to try to ‘safe up’ the curve.”
The guardrail, which will run approximately 500 feet, will be installed on the north edge of the road at the edge of the existing sidewalk. The railing will not only protect residents on the sidewalk and alert drivers to the curve, it will also protect nearby homes from cars possibly crashing into them.
The guardrail will start approximately at the beginning of the curve and end at the terminus of the curve.
Construction will begin in the next week or two, Barthelemy said.
Installing the guardrail will take up to two weeks and will not require closing one of the lanes on Birkdale Drive.
“It shouldn’t affect traffic in any major way,” he said. “This is a small, quick project in the grand scheme of the projects that Wellington does.”
The guardrail will be built to Florida Department of Transportation standards.
“The goal here is we’re trying to keep people from driving into people’s back yards, and as an added bonus, we get a guardrail along a sidewalk along a curve where, from time to time, we have drivers go off the road,” Barthelemy said. “Often what we see is that when they are going off the road and hitting our signs, it is nighttime.”
ABOVE: The curve along Birkdale Drive near Pine Valley Drive will be safer due to a guardrail project announced recently by the Village of Wellington.