State Road 7 debate prompts new location for transportation board’s next meeting

The Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization will hold its next board meeting in a new location to accommodate an expected crowd.

The MPO board meeting on Oct. 15 will be held at 9 a.m. in a conference room on the first floor of Palm Beach County’s offices at Vista Center, 2300 N. Jog Rd., just north of Okeechobee Boulevard.
MPO staff made the decision to move the meeting to Vista Center late Wednesday after reading a story in The Palm Beach Post about the controversial State Road 7 extension.

The MPO board’s monthly meetings usually are held on the 12th floor of the county Governmental Center in downtown West Palm Beach. But that meeting room is much smaller than the one at Vista Center.

The Florida Department of Transportation will present the MPO board with a proposed five-year work program for Palm Beach County. That program includes one significant change: Moving up to 2017 construction money for the 4-mile extension of SR & from 60th Street North to Northlake Boulevard.

The current DOT program has the money earmarked for 2019, but the MPO board last year asked the DOT to restore the money to 2017.

The road project has been a topic of controversy. The county’s central-western communities want the road because it will help relieve traffic.

But the city of West Palm Beach opposes the link because city officials say it will harm the city’s drinking water supply, which comes from Grassy Waters Preserve, a 24-square-mile marsh that’s just east of the proposed road extension.


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