A major step toward completing the Palmetto Park Road Shared Use Path (PPRSUP) is about to start. This step will expand the Palmetto Park Road bridge over the El Rio Canal to include an eight-foot path and increase the separation of the path from the roadway. These enhancements will improve the safety and enjoyment of the path for cyclists and pedestrians.
The PPRSUP enhancement project expanded the path from State Road 7/US 441 to just west of the bridge over the El Rio Canal. The Canal bridge as it currently exists is dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. The following pic was taken from the east side of the bridge looking west.
In our November 2019 article The Case for Completing Palmetto Pk Rd Shared Use Path, we explained how the Florida Department of Transportation was building a path along Palmetto Park road that was planned to go all the way to NW 2nd Avenue. But the project was stopped by the City short of that goal.
The current plan is to complete the enhancement project from where it was stopped in August, 2019 and continue to just east of the El Rio Canal bridge. The existing five-foot sidewalk west of the bridge will be removed and a new eight-foot path built about fifteen-feet from the roadway. This new path will connect to a new eight-foot wide path bridge over the El Rio Canal. On the east side of the new path bridge, the eight-foot path off the bridge will connect into the existing five-foot sidewalk at the western edge of Palmetto Dune Park.
The PPRSUP bridge expansion project will be presented to the Palm Beach County Commissioners for approval in early January, 2021. Assuming approval, construction on the bridge expansion will start during the second quarter of 2021.
The next phase of enhancement to the PPRSUP will be to expand the width of the path from the east side of the bridge to NW 2nd Avenue. The following pic shows a section of the path that is to be expanded, in a future phase, from its current width of five-foot to eight-foot. Note that in some parts of this path the actual width is about three-foot due to grass growing over the side of the path.
This section of the PPRSUP is also not safe for cyclists and pedestrians since three feet is not adequate for cyclists to pass other cyclists or pedestrians on the path.
BocaFirst will continue to monitor the status of the bridge expansion and the future path completion and will provide updates in our blog.