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This Executive Summary presents the key findings of an analysis supporting the proposed interchange justification for Central Boulevard with Interstate 95 (I‐95) in Palm Beach County, Florida, and a discussion of the eight Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Policies associated with justification.
The proposed project will improve regional mobility by constructing an interchange at I‐95 and Central Boulevard in northern Palm Beach County. An interchange at this location was in the 2035 LRTP Needs Plan, and is shown in the 2040 LRTP Cost Feasible Plan. Central Boulevard currently crosses over, but does not provide access to, I‐95 at this location.
The proposed Central Boulevard interchange would be located approximately 1.0 mile north of the existing Military Trail (SR 809) partial interchange, and 2.0 miles south of the existing Donald Ross Road interchange. The design year for this assessment is 2040. The area in which regional mobility would be improved is depicted in Figure ES‐1.
The Florida Department of Transportation (Department) is seeking infrastructure solutions that could reduce congestion and improve mobility in the northern Palm Beach County area, within the City of Palm Beach Gardens. As the major north‐south artery in north Palm Beach County, Interstate 95/State Road 9 (I‐95) (county section number 93220) access influences adjacent highway network roadway operating conditions. This combined with existing high density commercial/retail development of regional impact along with future planned development have created the need for additional transportation solutions. One solution that the Department is exploring is added interchange access within the City of Palm Beach Gardens.
This Interchange Justification Report documents study efforts to explore options for new interchange access along I‐95 from PGA Boulevard (Milepost 36.969) northerly to Donald Ross Road (milepost 40.385). The study area is shown on Figure ES‐1. The study area is bounded on the south by Northlake Boulevard (milepost 34.783), on the north by Donald Ross Road (40.385), on the west by Florida’s Turnpike and on the east by Lake Victoria Gardens Boulevard. Along I‐95, existing interchanges exist at the following locations (Operational Spacing in Table ES‐1):
- Full Access Interchange at Northlake Boulevard (milepost 34.783)
- Full Access Interchange at SR 786/PGA Boulevard (milepost 36.969)
- Partial Access Interchange to and from the north at SR 809/Military Trail (milepost 37.359)
- Full Access Interchange at Donald Ross Road (milepost 40.385)
An interchange on Florida’s Turnpike at PGA Boulevard exists at the western edge of the study area.
Purpose and Need
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The commercial areas of north Palm Beach County have developed into high volume destinations for this region. Shown on Figure 5‐1, these commercial areas include numerous shopping malls and centers, such as the Gardens Mall, that attract employees and patrons from outside the local area. In addition to this commercial hub, the area just north of these destinations, highlighted by the Scripps Institute adjacent to the Florida Atlantic University Campus, has also developed into a biomedical research economic development cluster for Palm Beach County, with additional associated development planned in the near future. As the economic development of north Palm Beach County has continued, particularly within the city of Palm Beach Gardens, residential development has intensified as well.
This positive economic growth in north Palm Beach County has brought, and will continue to bring, congestion and other associated stress to the regional transportation network. I‐95 currently operates at an acceptable level‐of service; particularly with the newly widened mainline through the limits of this study. Other State Highways in the area, however, suffer significant congestion and delay, led by SR 786/PGA Boulevard and SR 809/Military Trail. A number of studies conducted by both Palm Beach County and the Department indicate that these congested conditions will continue and worsen into the future.
Palm Beach County has identified constrained roadways within their jurisdiction from both an intersection and segment standpoint. Two (2) such constrained facilities, shown on Figure 5‐2, exist within the study limits:
- Interchange of Florida’s Turnpike and PGA Boulevard
- Intersection of Central Boulevard at PGA Boulevard
- The intersection of Military Trail at PGA Boulevard
- PGA Boulevard from Florida’s Turnpike to US 1