Railroad quiet zones two years away in north county

Faster Brightline trains raise specter of more deaths even as quiet zones two years away.

Railroad quiet zones are coming to Palm Beach Gardens and north county. 

But not until 2023, at the earliest. And not without some risk.

The sounds of silence won’t break out over north county any earlier than 2023, officials say, even though the $2.2 million needed to pay for more gates and other safety features at 26 crossings is in hand. 

That’s because the final testing of safety measures can’t start until the Brightline passenger service completes construction on a second set of tracks, not just in Palm Beach County but all the way to Orlando. That $2.7 billion job is not scheduled to be done until the final months of 2022. 

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Wringing every last drop out of the old, before ringing in the new

Seacoast Utility Authority replaces aging headquarters with $21 million campus.

When you turn on your faucet, you expect water to come gushing out. When you flush your toilet, you expect the water to go swirling away.

In Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Park, North Palm Beach and Juno Beach, that has meant relying on the Seacoast Utility Authority, housed for decades in its low-slung, aging headquarters next to the water plant on Hood Road. 

Seacoast remains, but after 40 years its headquarters are gone.  

In April, the utility started in 1955 by Lake Park and Palm Beach Gardens founder John D. MacArthur completes its move into a stylish series of blue buildings accented by brown stone that nearly doubles its space, protects against hurricanes and modernizes meeting rooms, warehouse space and labs. 

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Does one cent make sense? Transportation planners eye sales tax to help residents get ‘from point A to point B to point C’ without a car

It’ll be up to voters to extend an existing sales tax charge in Palm Beach County for transportation but the conversation broke out in public for the first time Thursday.

A powerful countywide planning body gave notice Thursday that it may push for a voter referendum to extend a 1-cent sales tax for transportation projects.

County voters approved the extra sales tax on top of the county’s 6-cent per $1 charge in November 2016 to pay for construction projects at schools and municipalities. It is on pace to sunset in 2025 or 2026 at the latest.

Keeping that penny in place could provide $270 million or more a year for transportation projects, enough to pay for a broad wish-list topped by adding a coastal commuter rail line. The money also could help pay for road projects hit by dwindling gas tax revenues.

Weinroth

County Commissioner Robert Weinroth raised the prospect Thursday during a discussion of creating bus lanes on major roads at the monthly meeting of the Palm Beach County Transportation Planning Agency board, which is made up of 21 elected officials, including five county commissioners. 

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Out of retirement and into the frying pan — developer Dan Catalfumo is back

Catalfumo proposes $200 million project in former design center south of PGA Boulevard.

Palm Beach Gardens developer Dan Catalfumo is back.

When last we saw him 10 years ago, the city’s most influential builder since John D. MacArthur had been stripped of his real estate empire under a mountain of debt. 

He invested in a chicken deboning business and manufactured a seatless bicycle. He was spending time away from Palm Beach Gardens at second homes in South Carolina and Costa Rica.

Palm Beach Gardens developer Dan Catalfumo. (Provided by Dan Catalfumo)

Now, he’s pitching a $200 million legacy project in Palm Beach Gardens

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