The Palm Beach County Commission on Tuesday approved the purchase of 24 parcels of land on 60th Street North along the M Canal in The Acreage in preparation for paving the road to connect the State Road 7 extension to Royal Palm Beach Blvd.
The link will enable SR 7 pass-through traffic to make the connection on the three-lane 60th Street North link, rather than Persimmon and Orange Grove boulevards, which were intended ultimately to serve primarily local Acreage traffic.
The commission’s adoption of the resolutions initiated eminent domain proceedings on the 24 parcels, which have a total appraised value of $137,000.
According to a county staff report, two of the 24 property owners along 60th Street North did not accept purchase offers by the county, so it became necessary to file eminent domain proceedings to acquire the necessary frontage.
The project includes replacing the Royal Palm Beach Blvd. bridge over the M Canal and reconstructing the intersection with 60th Street North to improve the line of vision for drivers entering Royal Palm Beach Blvd. from 60th Street. A signal will also be installed at the intersection.
The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors approved permits for the project in November. Palm Beach County Engineer George Webb attended that meeting and commented that the county has been pursuing the SR 7 extension project for at least eight years.
Webb also pointed out that ITID approving permits for the county to connect SR 7 to Persimmon and Orange Grove were predicated on ITID trusting the county’s pledge to continue the road northward to 60th Street, and ultimately to Northlake Blvd.
The 60th Street connection will provide major relief to the residential streets that have had to bear the burden of traffic that has been using the SR 7 extension.
The third lane of the planned three-lane road is to be a two-way left-turn lane that will enable residents on 60th Street to turn left off the road and enter the road safely. It is not intended as a passing lane, and traffic devices will prevent that, Webb said. The medians will be curbed and landscaped.
The county will also clear out the invasive exotic melaleuca trees that are now on the south side of the M Canal, which is where the road will be, away from houses, Webb said. Construction will include the planting of ornamental grass and more than 250 trees.
According to the staff report, the parcels to be acquired are acquisitions outside of the 80-foot mainline. They require water management areas that are necessary drainage for the construction and improvement of 60th Street North and Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in order to construct the new bridge and a properly functioning roadway with pavement, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.