How to improve I-95 interchange at Southern? Officials to look at options


State officials are considering ways to improve the Interstate 95 interchange at Southern Boulevard. And they want your input.

Among changes being considered: adding through and turn lanes on Southern, and improving the I-95 ramps, which could include adding lanes there as well. Though construction could be nearly a decade away, the Florida Department of Transportation is eyeing the interchange, and its ramps in particular, to see what can change as the agency plans for an increase in traffic over the next 25 years.

On Thursday, the board of the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization — which coordinates with municipalities, the county and the state to plan long-term and short-term transportation projects — will hear a presentation from FDOT on options being considered to improve to the interchange.

And next month, FDOT will hold a public meeting to discuss the alternatives with residents near the interchange.

Anson Sonnett, project manager for FDOT, said the work would include new ramps at the interchange as municipal, county and state planners keep an eye on long-term traffic projections.

And when he says long-term, he means long-term.

“They (the current ramps) don’t handle 2040 traffic volumes, so we’ve been charged with making sure that we can get approval to eventually reconfigure the interchange,” Sonnett said.

The presentation before the MPO on Thursday will offer four alternatives, including one that leaves the interchange as-is.

But, Sonnett added, it’s most likely that one of the three so-called “build alternatives” will be chosen.

“We don’t want to wait until an interchange fails and try to address it then,” Sonnett said. “We try to plan for the future.”

Sonnett said the current project timeline has final design in 2021, with right-of-way being purchased in 2022 and construction in 2024.

The estimated cost of design and construction of the project is about $82 million, with another $6 million set aside for right-of-way purchase. However, Sonnett said it is important to remember that “those numbers will change as we zero in on a preferred alternative.”

Following the presentation to the MPO Board, FDOT tentatively has scheduled a public meeting Dec. 1 to discuss options for the project. That workshop, Sonnett said, will be a good time for residents to speak about the project one-on-one with FDOT officials.

Sonnett said if residents aren’t able to attend that meeting, they can go to the project website, www.i95atsouthern.com. There they can view project documentation and make comments on the alternatives.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

BREAKING: St. Lucie County boat fire sends one to hospital
BREAKING: St. Lucie County boat fire sends one to hospital

Fire rescue crews are working to put out a boat fire in Port St. Lucie, said the St. Lucie County Fire District. Crews responded to the fire in the 2200 block of Savona Boulevard Sunday morning, according to the fire district. One person was taken to a hospital in serious condition. The boat appeared to be parked in a grassy residential area based...
NEW: St. Lucie judge appeals suspension
NEW: St. Lucie judge appeals suspension

A St. Lucie County judge has responded to a state panel’s recent recommendation that he be suspended for conduct that involved a former political rival. An attorney for Circuit Judge Philip Yacucci filed a written response Tuesday to the findings by Florida Judicial Qualifications Panel, which last month recommended to the Florida Supreme Court...
NEW: Woman accused of overdosing on powerful opioid with child in vehicle
NEW: Woman accused of overdosing on powerful opioid with child in vehicle

A Greenacres woman is accused of driving under the influence of an opioid 10,000 times more potent than morphine and later overdosing with a 6-year-old child in the car. Donielle Rae Stevens, 33, was arrested on May 15 after she parked in front of a family’s home, who found her unconscious in the driver’s seat with a child crying in...
BREAKING: Woman escapes after being arrested from a traffic stop
BREAKING: Woman escapes after being arrested from a traffic stop

A woman arrested by the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office escaped after being arrested after a traffic stop in Vero Beach. Ariel Dumont was last seen in the 6900 block of 77th Street at 4:20 a.m. Sunday wearing a pink tank top, blue jeans and pink tennis shoes, the sheriff’s office said. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is...
Florida Highwaymen art show coming to Lake Worth
Florida Highwaymen art show coming to Lake Worth

Art Link International is scheduled to open a big show of Florida Highway paintings July 28 at the Palm Beach Art, Antique & Design Center. The show is curated by Art Link International’s Howard Brassner, a Florida Highway expert. The show will feature more than 150 paintings by the Highwaymen, a group of 26 self-taught black artists from the...
More Stories