I-95 opened to traffic in Palm Beach County, between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, in 1976. By 1980, I-95 was completed throughout the county, providing a connection from Boca Raton to Jupiter. High Occupancy Vehicle, or HOV, lanes were added to I-95 in 1995.
The need for improvements to this interchange was identified in the I-95 Interchange Master Plan for Palm Beach County completed in December 2014. The interchange of I-95 at 6th Avenue South was identified as being in need of improvements since its current (in the years 2012 and 2013) and projected (future year 2040) traffic operations were not meeting the Department's adopted standards.
In addition to improving traffic operations at the interchange, the Master Plan also identified the need to improve facilities for bicycles and pedestrians, as well as the need to increase safety for all.
The purpose of this study is to identify short-term and long-term needs and develop design concepts to address traffic spillback onto I-95, improve interchange operations, reduce congestion, and increase safety at the study interchange. The proposed improvements will address pedestrian and bicycle modes and will ensure that the project corridor continues to meet mobility and safety goals as travel demand continues to grow.
The operations at this interchange were considered to be deficient at Level of Service (LOS) E based on FDOT's LOS D standard for urban areas. The South A Street intersection and approaches were considered to be deficient at an overall LOS F based on Palm Beach County's LOS E standard. As the population of the City and the County continues to increase, traffic will continue to grow, thereby, increasing the amount of congestion.
From 2010 to 2012, 164 crashes were reported in the interchange area. The most common types of crashes were angle (11%) and rear end (52%). These types of crashes are consistent with typical congested operating conditions.
The need for improvements being considered by this study are identified in the following regional planning prepared by the Palm Beach County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) documents:
- 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan
- Master Comprehensive Bicycle Transportation Plan
Social Demands/Economic Development
This study will consider enhancements that will improve mobility and support the economic development of the local businesses as well as stimulate major construction activities that will contribute to the economic growth within the area.
As an evacuation route, I-95 plays an important role in facilitating traffic movement during emergency evacuation periods. Maintaining this critical function will be an important consideration during the study.
Relationship to Other Means of Travel
Sidewalks and crosswalks are provided along both sides of 6th Avenue South. This study will consider pedestrian crossing improvements at the intersection of South A Street with 6th Avenue South.
There are no designated bicycle lanes along 6th Avenue South within the project limits. This study will consider improvements for bicycles.
The Lake Worth Tri-Rail Station is located south of Lake Worth Road, approximately 0.5 miles north of the I-95 Interchange. Palm Tran operates Route 64 that provides service along 6th Avenue South between Jog Road and South Dixie Highway. Improvements to these transit services will not be considered as part of this study.
This study will consider improvements that will enhance the connectivity and capacity of the roadway network, including facilities for bicycles, which will provide greater access and movement for residents and businesses.