by Jeff Levine, News Columnist
UPDATE: This story was originally published a week ago. Since then, the city of Deerfield Beach has released a schedule of six community meetings to discuss the proposed Sawgrass Expressway to I-95 connector along SW 10th Street. The complete list of the meetings is at the bottom of this article and have been set up to provide information to area residents and also to seek feedback from them.
The long asked for, long protested against, highway extension connecting the Sawgrass Expressway to I-95 may soon become reality. Well, maybe not soon in real people time, but soon in government speak.
The latest plans offered by the FDOT seem the most likely in a long line of proposals to actually be built.
The Sawgrass, which starts on the very western end of the City of Sunrise, ends as the road approaches Powerline Rd and turns into SW 10th Street. Drivers currently need to use the surface road- SW 1oth Street – to go from the end of the Sawgrass near Quiet Waters Park and Powerline Rd. to the closest entrance/exit on I-95. This 2.5+ mile gap has long frustrated drivers who have to sit through numerous traffic lights and often long traffic back-ups.
As far back as 1985, even before the highway was completed, there have been talks and even plans developed to continue the Sawgrass directly to I-95.
However, SW 10th Street borders against several large housing developments including Century Village and The Waterways. Many of those residents have been fighting efforts to build a highway right next to their homes. The southeast portion of the street contains many businesses, some of whom have long expressed their concerns that turning the street into a highway would decimate their businesses.
The FDOT offered their latest plans at the Broward Metro Planning organization meeting earlier this month. The plans on the table seem to address these concerns as best as possible while still creating some type of expressway connector.
The FDOT presented multiple options including one that would put most the express roadway below ground level, one that would keep most of it at the same level as the current road and a combination of depressed (below ground level) and non-depressed (current street level) roadways.
All plans would likely include some amount of elevated roadways, to cross certain streets and train tracks. However, these plans all provide for significantly less elevated roadways. The elevation issue has seemed to be the biggest concern of the residents who have been protesting the extension for several decades.
To see all the plans, go to SW 10th Street Connector Project Development and Environment Study and click on the PowerPoint presentation/Attachment on the last line of text. You can see what the various options will look like, the pros and cons and the projected costs.
Some form of combination of depressed and non-depressed roadway with a minimal amount of elevated portions seems to be the most likely way the city and the FDOT will proceed based on the presentation. Look below on this page to see an example of what that might look like.
If the approval process moves along as currently anticipated, construction would likely began around 2022 and take three to four years to complete. As of now, estimated costs are projected to be between $635 and $740 million.
The FDOT will be holding community outreach meetings to discuss the project with area residents. A press release from the city with the dates and locations of the meetings is listed below.
For more Deerfield Beach news and events information you can go to our website and read our publication, Deerfield Beach Magazine.
SW 10 STREET – WATERWAYS COMMUNITY MEETING SCHEDULE
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will be holding a community meeting with the residents of Waterford on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 7 PM at Constitution Park, 2841 W Hillsboro Blvd, Deerfield Beach, 33442.
As part of the SW 10 Street community outreach, future meetings have been scheduled with neighboring Deerfield Beach communities to discuss the project and gain insight from the communities on or near the corridor. The schedule is as follows:
August 21, 2019, 7:00 PM – Discovery Pointe – 1901 Discovery Circle East, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
August 28, 2019, 6:00 PM – Waterford Courtyard at Crystal Lake North – Pool Area: 2911 SW 12th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
September 9, 2019, 7:00 PM – The Meadows of Crystal Lake – 2300 SW 17 Circle, Deerfield Beach, FL. 33442
September 19, 2019, 6:30 PM – The Lakes at Deerfield Apartments – 1100 S. Military Trail, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
September 23, 2019, 7:00 PM – Independence Bay Clubhouse – 1776 Independence Drive, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Residents of these communities are encouraged to attend. Any resident who would like to express their views regarding the project may email Robert Bostian of FDOT at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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