Several Acreage Projects In County Five-Year Plan

The Palm Beach County Commission approved its five-year capital and road improvement comprehensive plan update on Tuesday, and included were a number of projects in The Acreage.

The capital plan approved this week includes a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office substation for The Acreage, plus improvements to 60th Street and Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in fiscal year 2015-16, and improvements for Seminole Pratt Whitney Road in 2016-17.

Acreage resident Alex Larson asked why the latter work was budgeted, except for the portion in front of Seminole Ridge High School.

“We’re doing four lanes to the south,” Larson said. “You’ve turned [Seminole Pratt Whitney Road] into a runway between Sycamore and Okeechobee, and then north of Orange [Blvd.], we’re doing four lanes, but we’re neglecting a little spot in front of Callery-Judge. We’re going to two lanes where a bunch of people have died. Somewhere, those two lanes need to be fixed before we start four-laning the north side.”

Larson added that the existing two lanes are poorly marked.

“You can’t see anything in the rain,” she said. “I drive it every day, and it’s very dangerous. Yet we’re going ahead with the four-laning above Orange, where I don’t really see it as necessary.”

County Engineer George Webb said the area Larson was talking about is in front of the high school up to 60th Street.

“You heard that when we had extensive discussion when you considered and ultimately approved the Minto West project,” Webb said, addressing the commissioners. “They are responsible for the construction of that roadway. Minto has already started the design on that roadway, and you required that as part of your approval to make that a priority to have that built.”

Webb explained that the county’s five-year plan only reflects money being spent by the county, not developer-funded projects.

“As a developer project, it would not show up in here, but it is a priority,” he said. “It is moving forward, and we want to get it in sooner than later.”

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay asked Webb whether he would consider looking at the roadway markings in the meantime.

“I do agree with Ms. Larson,” McKinlay said. “I’ve driven that section of the road, and when it’s really dark at night, it is hard to see those markings.”

County plans call for Seminole Pratt road improvements from Orange Blvd. to Northlake Blvd. in 2016 at a cost of $6.8 million, improvements to the Seminole Pratt/Northlake Blvd. intersection at a cost of $3.5 million, and Northlake Blvd. east of Seminole Pratt to west of Hall Blvd. in 2016 at a cost of $3 million.

Other improvements include 60th Street from 140th Avenue North to east of 120th Avenue North in 2015 at a cost of $900,000, and 60th Street west of Royal Palm Beach Blvd. and 60th Street/Royal Palm Beach Blvd. intersection improvements in 2015 at a cost of $5.6 million.

Plans for the controversial Roebuck Road extension from Jog Road to State Road 7 are in the plan for 2019 at a cost of $50 million.

Commissioner Paulette Burdick made a motion to approve the road plan, which carried 7-0.

The county has budgeted $600,000 in 2016 for the design and preparation for a PBSO substation in The Acreage. There is $6 million earmarked in 2017 to build it. Minto West has dedicated 7 acres for a governmental area, including the PBSO’s District 15 substation, which is currently located in a county building in Royal Palm Beach.

The plan also calls for improvements at Okeeheelee Park, including a golf course concession expansion at $150,000, athletic complex drainage improvements at $150,000, construction of a south boating center at $500,000 and south development phase III of $550,000 in 2015. The county plans to spend more than $3 million at Okeeheelee over the next five years.

Commissioner Priscilla Taylor made a motion to approve the capital plan, which carried 7-0.