ITID OKs County’s 60th St. Connection To State Road 7

The Indian Trail Improvement District on Wednesday issued a special drainage permit to Palm Beach County necessary to connect 60th Street North to the planned extension of State Road 7.

The approval, however, was without a center turn lane currently in the county’s plans after some residents complained that the purpose of the road was to give a connection to eventual development to the west.

During a workshop session before Wednesday’s regular meeting, ITID Engineer Keith Jackson reviewed the plans presented at an earlier meeting by County Engineer George Webb, explaining that the county needed the special permit in order to connect its drainage to an ITID canal.

The county applied for the permit in May 2012 where Phase 1 of the project consisted of a three-lane roadway 4,180 feet long with eastbound and westbound lanes and a center turning lane, running from Royal Palm Beach Blvd. east to the SR 7 extension.

The road runs parallel to the M Canal on the south side with a 6-foot concrete sidewalk on the south side of the road, curb and gutter drainage on both sides, and a guard rail on the north side separating it from the canal.

The road will have connections at Mango Blvd. and 110th Avenue North, and a roundabout connecting the road to the planned SR 7 extension and a future connection to Northlake Blvd.

Drainage consists of a combination of structures and swales to improve water quality before it bleeds off into the canal, Jackson said. “There is a South Florida Water Management District permit that is already in place that the county applied for and has been issued for the project,” he said.

The intersection at Royal Palm Beach Blvd. and 60th Street will be done in two phases, he said, explaining that the work is to improve visibility that would be impaired due to the humped-up style of the existing culvert bridge. The bridge will be redone so it is flat in order to address line-of-sight problems, Jackson said.

SR 7 has been bid out and will be constructed up to the 60th Street roundabout from Persimmon Blvd. To the west of Royal Palm Beach Blvd., 60th Street will taper back to a dirt road with a traffic light at the intersection, Jackson said. The third lane is intended to allow residents along the road to get into their homes safely, he said.

The work is planned to begin in about three months and will take nine months to a year.

During the regular meeting, Supervisor Ralph Bair made a motion to approve the permit. Supervisor Carol Jacobs asked that the planned speed limit of 40 mph be reduced to 30 mph, while ITID President Michelle Damone asked that a traffic dot be requested at the north/south canal crossing, similar to the traffic dots on Orange Grove and Persimmon boulevards.

“For traffic calming, you’re going to model off of traffic calming on Orange Grove and Persimmon,” Damone said. “It makes sense to just continue with this modeling.”

Supervisor Jennifer Hager requested landscaping for the benefit of residents living on the road.

During public comment, former Supervisor Mike Erickson said the Florida Department of Transportation can set any speed limit on a three-lane road.

“You’ve got to remember it’s three lanes; it’s not two lanes like the other two roads were,” Erickson said.

Resident Alex Larson said she felt three lanes would not be safe for horse riders who use the area. “I don’t think we should be approving this right now,” Larson said. “I think it should be two lanes.”

Larson said that nobody travels on that section of 60th Street right now, but from Seminole Pratt and further west, it is a two-lane road with nothing but orange groves on either side and with the GL Homes site at the end. “I’m kind of curious why they are putting three lanes on you when you have your residents there,” Larson said.

Resident Patricia Curry said she felt the three-lane road is being built for the future development of Callery-Judge Grove.

“Why not just say it?” Curry asked. “It’s being built for Callery-Judge. It should not be a three-lane road. It’s a quiet residential street that nobody drives on now except for the people who live on it.”

Bair’s motion failed 3-2 with Hager, Jacobs and Supervisor Carlos Enriquez opposed.

Hager made an alternative motion to approve a two-lane road with turn lanes at the intersections and a traffic dot at the canal. That motion carried unanimously.