Bridge Upgrades for Sandalfoot and SW 3rd

Sandalfoot bridges
Sandalfoot bridges

Southwest Boca may be in for some new bridges in the near future. The Sun-Sentinel reports that FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) is making progress toward upgrading or replacing bridges along the east side of US-441 (State Road 7) at Sandalfoot (aka SW 14th St.) and at SW 3rd Street.
The bridges are over 40 years old. While the article describes them as inadequate for the traffic volume, we disagree. We have been through both, especially the Sandalfoot one, and have never experienced a traffic delay on either. With that said, improving the bridges and making sure they’re in good shape is a good thing for area residents. Except, of course, for the traffic delays that we’ll experience during the work.
Bridge at SW 3rd St.
Bridge at SW 3rd St.

There’s no timetable yet for when the project will start or be completed. And initial cost estimates for the two are in the ballpark of $2.5 million. So we expect it to cost $5 million or more.
It appears that this was on tonight’s agenda at the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioner’s meeting. If it was approved, it would mean over $260K spent on the design phase for the Sandalfoot bridge and another $240K on the SW 3rd St. bridge, with much of that going to Alan Gerwig & Associates and subcontractors.
See: PDF file of documents from county agenda item on Sandalfoot bridge.
From meeting documents.
From meeting documents.

See: PDf file of agenda item on SW 3rd St. bridge.
From document on SW 3rd St. proposal
From document on SW 3rd St. proposal

Fatal Car Crash on 441 Friday

vschwartzA resident notified us of a serious accident that took place on 441 Friday. Several media sources have reported on it, including the Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post.
Unfortunately the media scrum leads to inaccuracies and key facts are disputed by one of the passengers (below). On a less controversial level, the Post described one of the vehicles as a “2010 Mercury Grand Am.” Most likely this was really a Grand Marquis, as the Grand Am was a Pontiac model that hasn’t been made since the 2005 model year.
Another source described one of the drivers, Vivian Schwartz (pictured above) in its headline as a “realtor.” From what we can tell, Ms. Schwartz is actually a businesswoman affiliated with Zeus Footwear and JS Shoes LLC. While she may have a real estate license we don’t see any evidence she actively works in the field, nor for the brokerage she’s associated with.
Ms. Schwartz and her husband own a home in The Oaks, north of Clint Moore near 441. The media say she and her daughter were “seriously injured” in the accident, but her daughter Kayla’s Twitter account suggests otherwise. In the other vehicle, Thomas Giordano passed away and his wife was reportedly injured. The Giordanos appear to have been on their way home to a townhome neighborhood within Sandalfoot Cove, east of 441 off of SW 3rd Street (south of Palmetto Park Road).
The initial media accounts put the blame on Schwartz for allegedly running a red light, but it’s unclear at this point whether those accounts are afflicted with similar inaccuracies. Kayla vociferously disputes the media version on her Twitter page, KaylaRaq.

If you call yourself a “journalist”, make sure you have your facts straight before wrongfully accusing people in the local paper.

It should be noted that Kayla is a recent graduate of Olympic Heights with top honors.
kaylaraq1
kaylaraq2
We also found a video of Kayla on YouTube from an audition a few years ago. She’s quite talented.

West Boca News wishes the best to both families in this difficult time.

Street Lights on Palmetto Park

street-lights
We heard from a reader that the street lights on Palmetto Park, west of Loggers Run, have been inconsistent at best. There have been moments where it’s “pitch black” at night. After forwarding the information through channels we’ve heard back. FPL should resolve this issue within ten days, and quite possibly sooner.

Accident Closes Glades at Ponderosa

This morning before 7:30 am an accident happened at Glades and Ponderosa.

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One vehicle, a truck or SUV, rolled over. The other was blocking both eastbound lanes. By 7:30 sheriffs had arrived and were blocking all eastbound traffic.
Eastbound vehicles had a relatively easy detour via Judge Winikoff, but it moved slowly as traffic reentered Glades.

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Traffic on Glades and 441 in the News

The Sun-Sentinel has a story today in today’s print edition about congestion on Glades Road and State Road 7 (aka US 441). The article talks about technology changes that might make intersections more efficient, and indicates that there are no plans to widen either road nor to install bus lanes.
We were not able to find an official source for the Sun-Sentinel’s story.
Here’s a graphic from the Florida Department of Transportation showing various projects that are under way or in progress. Click on the image to enlarge it.
FDOT Glades Map
The pdf of that is here: FDOT PDF of Glades Road
Some of the article seems confused, making the reader wonder if the reporter looked at a map. For example, one driver is described as avoiding Glades when driving from Deerfield Beach to Palm Beach County, using Federal Highway instead. Glades runs east-west while Federal Highway runs north-south.
There are obvious reasons for drivers to avoid these roads that have nothing to do with technology or road width. Glades is often slower than other east-west roads because it has extra intersections and more traffic. In West Boca that includes the Shadowood/Westwinds light, the 95th Avenue (JCC/Library) light, and especially the extra lights at Boca Rio and the Turnpike. Going further east there is often heavy traffic by Town Center. People going east-west will often take Yamato, which has fewer lights, or Palmetto which has fewer lights and a higher speed limit.
Similarly for 441, there are a number of annoying lights at minor intersections such as Kimberly/Boca Greens, SW 3rd, Judge Winikoff, and Sandalfoot, and the Hillsboro light in Coconut Creek can be painfully slow. West of 441, Cain Road is a more pleasant ride between Boca Chase (and Clint Moore) and Glades. East of 441 Lyons Road and Boca Rio tend to be quicker and more relaxing than 441.