Coconut Creek Commission Discusses Possible Litigation to Stop Turnpike Expansion
The Florida Turnpike looking north in Coconut Creek. {Google Maps}

By Bryan Boggiano

The Coconut Creek city commission expressed strong opposition to an expansion of Florida’s Turnpike that could adversely affect residents throughout the city.

The item came up at their May 11 meeting, where the commission agreed to explore litigation to stop the project from proceeding.

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, part of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), is undertaking a project to widen the Turnpike to 10 lanes between I-595 and Wiles Road.

The project’s planning phase began in 2019 to alleviate projected vehicular and freight traffic increases by 2045. Another potential project would widen the Sawgrass Expressway from six to 10 lanes between State Road 7 and the Turnpike interchange.

“From a global perspective, we are concerned that a ten-lane alternative encourages more traffic on our local streets, and we are urging a shift to more efficient means of transport such as autonomous vehicles and mass transit,” said Karen Brooks, city manager.

Brooks added the city requested an eight-lane alternative for the Turnpike, but they had yet to receive a follow-up.

“Because of the westward shift in the alignment, we are very concerned about the impacts to the eastern portion of our city,” she said.

One area in particular, Brooks said, is the area near Sunshine Drive, where roughly 30 homes back up to the Turnpike. Despite some modifications to the expansion plans, she noted none of those changes reduced impacts significantly.

“I don’t think [that area] can sustain that type of construction,” said Mayor Joshua Rydell.

The construction could continue for five years, even occurring at night. Commissioner Jackie M. Railey noted that means more noise, dust, and lights that residents could have to deal with for five years.

“That’s a lifetime to some of the residents,” she said. “Once the construction is done, what do they have to look forward to?”

Brooks floated a few ideas, which included the commission opposing project funding, helping residents off of Sunshine Drive with relocation funding and assistance, working with FDOT for noise mitigation initiatives such as impact-resistant windows, and opposing through litigation.

While she said the city has successfully fought the issue for years, Brooks does not think the city would be able to hold the expansion off for much longer.

“We have to come up with a plan for the entire project for all of the residents that are affected,” Railey said.

Similarly, Commissioner John Brodie added, “We need to use everything possible in our hands to get what is right for the residents.”

Florida’s Turnpike will host a virtual public hearing on July 19 and an in-person hearing on July 20 at the Signature Grand in Davie to discuss the project further.

Got News in Coconut Creek? Send it Here. Keep reading NW Broward County’s #1 News Sites: Parkland TalkCoconut Creek TalkCoral Springs TalkMargate Talk, and Tamarac Talk.

Author Profile

Coconut Creek Commission Discusses Possible Litigation to Stop Turnpike Expansion 1
Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
Casa Decor