After being threatened with over a million dollars in unplanned construction fees for the Lyons Road expansion, numerous West Boynton communities won’t have to pay after all.
In a last-minute compromise, Palm Beach County and various homeowners associations reached an agreement, allowing the developments in the rapidly growing West Boynton area to retain their right-hand turn lanes without having to pay more than $1.3 million in utility relocation fees.
Instead, the country will reduce the widths of the medians at the approach of the entrance of each community, according to county documents.
“It was a huge relief this compromise was achieved,” said Beth Rappaport, president of Coalition of West Boynton Residential Association. “It really did resolve a lot of problems for the HOAs.”
Palm Beach County is finalizing plans to expand Lyons Road to two lanes in each direction from Boynton Beach Boulevard to Atlantic Avenue. The $10 million project will be split into two phases with construction beginning in 2023.
The point of contention centered around building dedicated right-hand turn lanes into each community. Originally, the country said utility boxes for companies such as Comcast and AT&T would have to be removed to create those lanes.
Breaking News Alerts Newsletter
As it happens
Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as it happens with our free breaking news email alerts.
That would have cost over $1.3 million for five communities: Canyon Isles, Canyon Lakes, Canyon Springs, Valencia Cove and Valencia Reserve. Canyon Town Center, a nearby shopping plaza, also would have needed to move its boxes.
If the associations refused the Sept. 30 deadline, the county would have eliminated dedicated lanes, creating potential traffic and safety hazards on the frequently-congested road.
Homeowners associations immediately pushed back on the proposal, calling it unfair and “unacceptable.”
“There were huge sums of money involved which would have been very challenging for the homeowners associations to collect,” Rappaport said. “It was not even clear in the homeowners association documents whether they would have the authority to collect money for something that wasn’t on the homeowners association’s property.”
Serving as the main north-south road in the area and not having any access points along that stretch, Lyons Road frequently becomes a traffic nightmare with cars routinely bottlenecking on the road. Beginning in 2023, crews will first renovate the 3-mile stretch from Boynton Beach Boulevard to Flavor Pict Road. Construction on the 2.4-mile stretch from Flavor Pict Road to Atlantic Avenue is scheduled to begin in 2025.
County engineers said they’ll likely need to expand the road to three lanes in each direction in 10 to 15 years. At that point, the communities would need to pay for utility relocation fees.