No speedway here: Residents win fight to block eight-laning of Northlake

Palm Beach County drops road widening options for western section of Northlake Boulevard despite anticipated rise in traffic from large new communities.

CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, the original story published Feb. 3, 2023, incorrectly attributed to Palm Beach Gardens City Attorney Max Lohman comments from the audience at the Jan. 13, 2023, Planning Commission meeting. The comments were made by Avenir attorney Brian Seymour, not Mr. Lohman. The story has been updated as of Feb. 5, 2023, to remove the incorrect information.

Palm Beach County planners and engineers, girding for construction of thousands of homes, are certain that sometime in the next 10 years traffic will dictate the eight-laning of parts of Northlake Boulevard. 

Residents of the western gated communities in Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach are equally certain an eight-lane road outside their neighborhoods would be a disaster, eliminating slow-down lanes, decorative entryways and lush landscaping to make way for a dangerous speedway. 

On Wednesday, the residents won.

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Long-awaited State Road 7 project will wait five years longer

West Palm Beach’s litigation prompts state to withdraw $80 million scheduled to be spent in 2023 to build connector between Okeechobee Boulevard and Northlake.

The state had $80 million on hand to begin construction next year of State Road 7 from Okeechobee to Northlake boulevards.

But on Thursday, state officials will slam the brakes on the controversial project by formally asking local officials to sign off on a shocking twist: Delay it at least five years. 

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Northlake widening study pits county vs city. Again.

Palm Beach Gardens City Manager tells council that Palm Beach County engineer abruptly backed out of a meeting to share information about county’s $400,000 study of eight-laning Northlake Boulevard east of the Beeline.

Palm Beach County wants to spend $400,000 to study eight-laning Northlake Boulevard from Military Trail to Beeline Highway. 

Palm Beach Gardens and its many homeowners associations along the six-lane roadway want no such thing. 

But the potential to talk out their differences blew up publicly last week when County Engineer David Ricks refused to attend a meeting with Palm Beach Gardens City Manager Ron Ferris.

“I got a phone call from David Ricks, who said he was advised from higher ups at the administration level he is not to meet with the city of Palm Beach Gardens,” Ferris told City Council members Thursday night.

Continue readingNorthlake widening study pits county vs city. Again.

Gil Hodges: 50 years after his death in West Palm, he’s joining Baseball Hall of Fame

For two of his children, who live in Palm Beach Gardens, Cooperstown ceremony ‘a dream come true.’

FIFTY YEARS AGO, on the eve of the 1972 season, Major League Baseball players went on strike for the first time in modern history.

The strike lasted just two weeks but wiped out the final two games of spring training, including the Easter finale at old West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium between the Atlanta Braves and the visiting New York Mets.

Nearly every Mets player left town a day earlier, when the strike washed out Saturday’s game in Fort Lauderdale against the New York Yankees. With no game on Sunday, Mets manager Gil Hodges and most of his coaching staff decided to head to West Palm Beach, anyway. They wanted to take some final spring swings of their own.

Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges prepares a new bat before the 1952 World Series. (Associated Press)

At the time, Hodges was among baseball’s living royalty, the Brooklyn-born “Miracle Worker’’ less than three years removed from guiding the “Amazin’ Mets” to a World Series upset over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles. The 1969 championship only brightened the glow of his Favorite Son status around the five boroughs, a torch lit in his playing days as an All-Star first baseman who led his hometown Dodgers to six World Series.

He loved to swing a golf club, too.

On April 2, he played 27 holes at Palm Beach Lakes Golf Club, a modest course just across Congress Avenue from the ballpark. After the final round, he made his way across the parking lot toward his room at the old Ramada Inn on the Green.

“Hey, Gillie,’’ coach Joe Pignatano yelled. “What time do you want to meet for dinner?”

“7:30,” Hodges replied.

Moments later, he collapsed in front of Room 158, his head slamming against the concrete sidewalk. He’d suffered a massive heart attack.

At 5:45 p.m., he was pronounced dead on arrival at Good Samaritan Medical Center. He was just 47, two days shy of what would have been his 48th birthday.

He left behind a wife, a son, three daughters and millions of admirers.


Two of Hodges’ children, Gil Jr. and Cindy, are neighbors in Palm Beach Gardens. As the 50th anniversary of their father’s death approaches, they have a far more inspiring moment awaiting them: Their father’s long-awaited enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Read the entire story by local writer Joe Capozzi at

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