Loxahatchee Road Improvements
WHAT IS THE PROJECT:
A large-scale road construction project that will provide traffic calming and increase safety for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians from the easternmost point of Loxahatchee Road (its intersection with SR 7 / U.S. Highway 441) to the westernmost point (the Arthur R. Marshall National Wildlife Refuge).
This project is a collaboration between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Broward County, the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and the City of Parkland (City) with FDOT as the primary and coordinating agency. The City’s portion of the project is an approximately one-mile stretch on the eastern portion of the six-mile long roadway. The overall cost of the project is just under $37 million with the City’s portion being just under $2 million.
The design of this project began in 2017 and is complete. The bidding process for work on the project began in the first quarter of 2023 with construction scheduled by FDOT to begin in late 2023. The expected completion date of the project is the end of 2026.
WHAT THIS MEANS for PARKLAND RESIDENTS / MOTORISTS:
Loxahatchee Road (Lox Road) will be under construction to one degree or another for a period of nearly two years. First and foremost this project will benefit from the patience of those residents and motorists who currently use this roadway. There will be numerous temporary lane closures throughout the project. As much as possible, lane closures will be during non-peak hours. Lox Road will not be completely closed during construction, but will frequently be narrowed to one-lane with flag persons alternating eastbound and westbound travel.
All motorists should expect significant traffic impact due to this project and consider alternate routes for travel. With the recent extension of Hillsboro Boulevard into the Falls of Parkland development west of Parkside Drive, Hillsboro Boulevard will be used as a detour. Communities with a single point of entry from Lox Road will be accommodated. No one will be denied access to their community if the only entry point is via Lox Road. Night time work will be done on this project between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., but not along the portion of Lox Road east of Parkside Drive. Night work east of Parkside Drive will not be conducted.
What the Project WILL do:
This project will make Lox Road a safer road to travel—whether you are a motorist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. This will be a complete makeover of the road through its entire span. Travel lanes will be widened, there will be bike lanes in both directions, a sidewalk along the south side of the road, and portions of the roadway will have a landscaped median that will provide traffic calming in an aesthetically-pleasing way.
Bike lanes in both directions and a sidewalk along the south side of Lox Road are among the improvements that will be made. A new guardrail will be installed along the north side of the road and, in some areas, a raised landscaped median will be added. Intersection improvements include the addition of an eastbound right turn lane at SR 7 / U.S. 441, the addition of a westbound left turn lane at Parkland Place / Northwest 61st Way, and three roundabouts: Parkside Drive, University Drive, and Nob Hill Road.
The proposed typical sections along Loxahatchee Road are shown below:
Roundabouts will contribute to the overall traffic calming that is at the foundation of this project. Roundabouts increase traffic flow, help control vehicle speed, and help reduce collisions. The roundabouts at Parkside Drive and Nob Hill Road will have an eastbound right turn bypass lane—meaning vehicles traveling east on Lox Road wishing to turn south onto Nob Hill Road or Parkside Drive will be able to do so in a separate lane without entering the roundabout. There is also a bypass lane for northbound traffic on Nob Hill Road turning east on Lox Road and northbound traffic on Parkside Drive turning east on Lox Road. There is not enough room at the intersection of Lox Road and University Drive to add bypass lanes.
What the Project Will NOT do:
With the exception of an additional eastbound left turn lane at SR 7 / U.S. 441 and a westbound turn lane into Parkland Place, this project will not increase the number of lanes. The amount of traffic that travels Lox Road will do so in a safer manner, but the improvements are not intended to address the amount of traffic.
This project, originally identified by the Broward MPO in its Long-Range Transportation Plan, sets out to improve safety (for vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians), increase access to the Arthur R. Marshall National Wildlife Refuge at the west end of Lox Road, improve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access, and overall improve the connectivity of all modes of travel (vehicle, bike, pedestrian) along the road. It is important to note: the purpose of this project is not to add lanes or address volume of traffic.
Why the Project Does NOT Include a Noise Wall:
An FDOT noise analysis concluded that noise levels that currently exist along Lox Road will not be increased as a result of the road improvements. Additionally, this project is not eligible for funding for noise abatement. There would be significant obstacles to installation of a noise wall: the existing berm and the landscaping on the berm would have to be removed and overhead utility lines and underground water lines would have to be relocated. Those obstacles, combined with the cost of the wall itself, would make the project cost-prohibitive.