Yearlong, $3 million U.S. 1 redesign project in Tequesta starts Monday


Tequesta construction on U.S. 1 expected to last one year

Businesses to remain open during Tequesta U.S. 1 work

A year-long construction project to make a safer U.S. 1 in the village starts Monday, and whether or not the $3 million plan is worthwhile depends on who you ask.

“It’s going to hurt my business. A year is a long time,” said Ken Rosenthal, who for seven years has operated Rinaldi’s Deli of Tequesta, located on the east side of the 1-mile stretch of U.S. 1 where the work is planned.

READ: Big changes in the works for U.S. 1 in Palm Beach County

The construction is part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s “Complete Streets Program” to redesign roadways to become safer and encourage walking, bicycling and other driving alternatives, said Kim Delaney, director of strategic development and policy with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

“This project is all about improving safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicycle riders,” said Delaney.

That’s why Jenna Pignato, co-owner of Kid’s Gym on the stretch of U.S. 1., likes the project planned from the Martin County line south to Beach Road.

More younger families are moving to Tequesta, said Pignato. Creating a U.S. 1 to attract pedestrians, bicyclists and more shoppers will help the community and businesses like hers, she said.

“Tequesta is a small, sweet town. The road will be easier and safer for families to get around,” said Pignato, who opened her gym for children a year ago to meet the demand from younger families in the 5,800-population village at the northeast corner of Palm Beach County.

The plan calls for eliminating the two U.S. 1 outside lanes  — one north and one south — and replacing them with bicycle lanes and wider turn lanes. New sidewalks, lighting, marked crosswalks, landscaping and drainage are planned.

Two lanes of traffic in each direction will remain open during construction. Nighttime lane closures will be required for repaving. Sidewalk sections occasionally will be closed. Detour routes for pedestrian routes will be marked, according to FDOT.

Businesses along that section of U.S. 1 will remain open. Access to businesses and driveways will be maintained throughout construction, according to FDOT.

About 24,000 vehicles daily travel down the 2-mile section. That’s much lower than the maximum of 32,000 for a four-lane roadway. The maximum for a six-lane roadway is about 48,000, according to state transportation figures.

North county traffic woes won’t be over after the U.S. 1 project is complete.

Plans call for replacing the U.S. 1 bridge over the Loxahatchee River between Tequesta and Jupiter in 2021. Construction of the higher, wider bridge, expected to cost about $120 million, is likely to take about three years.

Businesses and residents will be inconvenienced during the U.S. 1 Tequesta construction, said Pignato. But the end result will be worth the trouble, said Pignato.

“Anything good in life takes time,” she said.

Completion by J.W. Cheatham, LLC is scheduled for the fall of next year.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

'Scarface' stars, fans reunite to say hello to their little friends
'Scarface' stars, fans reunite to say hello to their little friends

Fans of “Scarface” were more than happy to say hello to their little friends Thursday. Members from the 1983 movie -- known for its violence and profanity, and a cult classic -- had a reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival, The New York Daily News reported. Al Pacino, who played Cuban immigrant-turned-drug-lord Tony Montana, appeared...
‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says
‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says

A sweeping international study of alcohol consumption has found no overall health benefits from moderate drinking and calls into question the U.S. guidelines that say men can safely drink twice as much as women. The threshold for low-risk drinking, the researchers found, is about seven beers a week for men and women alike. The new report, published...
How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream
How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream

The idea that a someone who’s not a medical professional could reverse deadly drug overdoses by injecting victims with an antidote was once fringe. Now it’s widely accepted - and got even stronger backing this month with a rare announcement from the U.S. surgeon general. Jerome Adams urged Americans to consider getting trained to administer...
3 fun things happening now — and soon — in Lake Worth
3 fun things happening now — and soon — in Lake Worth

1. Oliver: The award-winning musical adaptation of the classic Dickens’ novel springs to life at the Lake Worth Playhouse through April 29. Follow Oliver’s journey on the streets of Victorian England from poor house to pickpocket and finally the true love of family. For tickets, click here. 2. Coffee Clatch at Compass: It&rsquo...
Dietary Supplements: What we need to know
Dietary Supplements: What we need to know

I was at a national conference in 1994 (yes, I’m that old) when a speaker from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told us big changes were on the way in the field of dietary supplements. How right she was. The 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) removed dietary supplements from the strict scrutiny of the FDA, the agency...
More Stories