Construction money for the controversial extension of State Road 7 has been moved up to 2017, two years earlier than previously planned, according to a proposal by the Florida Department of Transportation.
The $50.7 million for the 2-mile link, which would connect 60th Street North to Northlake Boulevard, still would need to be approved by the state legislature.
But the DOT’s latest proposed five-year work program is a positive development for residents in the central western communities who view the extension as a way to relive traffic.
Last year, money for construction was scheduled for 2016 but was bumped back three years to 2019.
The city of West Palm Beach has been fighting the project because officials are worried it will hurt the city’s water drinking supply.
The proposed link runs along the western edges of Grassy Waters Preserve, a 24-square-mile marsh formerly known as the Water Catchment Area because it captures and holds rainwater to feed the city’s drinking water system.
The DOT’s proposed 5-year work program for Palm Beach County 2017-2021 can be viewed on the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization website.