Federal Highway Beautification Project

About This Project

Location: Northbound and Southbound Federal Highway from SE 10th to NE 8th Streets
Architect/Engineer: Kimley-Horn
Contact: John Morgan, Environmental Services Director at 243-7320; Jeff Costello, Executive Director at 561-276-8640

 

Project Description: Federal Highway (also known as NE/SE 5th and 6th Avenues) splits into a one-way pair system through the downtown with a minimum of three lanes in each direction. In the blocks approaching Atlantic Avenue there are also turn lanes and on-street parking lanes. The Downtown Master Plan calls for traffic calming, beautification, and enhanced pedestrian safety along the Federal Highway corridor by eliminating travel lanes, widening sidewalks and adding landscaping throughout the downtown area. Unlike many of the other streets in the downtown area, there is no landscaping in the right-of-way and the sidewalks along the road are the minimum width.

 

Engineering consultants Kimley Horn studied traffic volumes and movements amidst concern that the proposed changes would cause traffic congestion. Their findings were presented to the public in March of 2005 and in January 2006, along with three conceptual designs for the improvements. View the Kimley Horn Presentation here.

 

Temporary modifications were installed in April 2008 between NE 8th Street (George Bush Blvd.) and SE 10th Street for a trial period, allowing officials to study their effect during peak and off-peak seasons. Kimley Horn collected speed, volume, and crash data during the peak season prior to the temporary trial, and in the peak season after the trial was implemented. The results, presented to the City Commission on May 19, 2009, are as follows:

 

  • Speeds – The posted speed limit along the corridor is 35 miles per hour. Prior to the temporary trial, speeds were typically 5 to 10 miles over the limit. Since the modifications were installed speeds have been generally around the speed limit, for an average speed reduction of 6 mph.
  • Volumes and traffic flow – Overall volumes were slightly lower in 2009 than in the previous year, but traffic patterns and time-of-day volumes did not change significantly as a result of the temporary trial. In terms of traffic flow, the modifications have resulted in minimal additional delay. The most significant change was an increase in delay of approximately 6 seconds at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and SE 6th Avenue. Even with this delay the corridor still operates at an acceptable level of service (capacity) per Florida Department of Transportation and Palm Beach County standards.
  • Crashes – Accident data was analyzed for a three year period at the beginning of the study, and compared to the year that the temporary trial was in place. The results indicate a reduction of approximately 50% in annual accidents overall, and a 75% reduction in accidents at the US 1 intersections with Atlantic Avenue (at East 5th Avenue and East 6th Avenue).

 

In summary, the temporary trial modification for the US 1 corridor accomplished the intended goals, resulting in slower speeds and significantly fewer accidents, while maintaining the road’s capacity to handle the traffic volumes. The City Commission voted to proceed with permanent enhancements, leaving the temporary  measures in place in the meantime.

 

Construction of the permanent modifications was completed in November 2015 and the ribbon cutting ceremony was held on November 18, 2015. The project’s total cost of $13,991,846 consists of the following: FDOT’s contribution of $5,051,604, Federal contribution of $2,189,840, the City’s contribution of $2,957,480, the CRA’s contribution of $3,614,188, and the developer contribution of $178,734. Improvements include the following:

 

  • Reducing the roadways from three travel lanes to two in each direction
  • Wider sidewalks and decorative street lights in the two blocks north and south of Atlantic Avenue
  • New bicycle lanes and landscaping along the entire corridor
  • Additional on-street parking along the corridor
  • Upgraded traffic signals at the following intersections:
    – Southbound Federal Highway and SE 1st Street
    – Southbound Federal Highway and East Atlantic Avenue
    – Southbound Federal Highway and NE 1st Street

More information is available on the City of Delray Beach website.

 

View the US-1 Enhancement Project Brochure.

 

Visit our Facebook page photo album for photographs of existing conditions, temporary modifications, conceptual renderings, and construction progress.

Category
Projects