Delray Beach wins state award for Federal Highway Beautification Project

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The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has been recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) for outstanding redevelopment achievements in the Transportation/Transit Enhancements Category. The FRA presents awards annually to projects that exhibit best practices in Florida redevelopment over the past year.

This year, the Delray Beach CRA and the City of Delray Beach were honored for the US-1/Federal Highway Beautification Project. The former Delray US-1/Federal Highway corridors, in stark contrast with other downtown streets, had narrow sidewalks and minimal landscaping, which promoted high speeds, leading to triple the statewide crash rate within the main commercial core. Through the US-1/Federal Highway Beautification Project, the Delray CRA was able to reconfigure the existing roadway to reduce one travel lane in each direction to accommodate on-street parking, a bike lane, and wider landscaped sidewalks.

In 2004, city officials began the planning phase of the project, seeking community input on various alternate design options and elements of the projects through a series of charrettes and public meetings. Temporary traffic control devices were installed in 2008 to test the proposed design. The results of the one year trial period indicated that the elimination of one travel lane reduced average speeds along the corridor by about six miles per hour, average crash rates by 50 percent,and a 75 percent crash rate reduction at the intersections of Atlantic Avenue and the Federal Highway. The project created a safer pedestrian environment, which enhanced retail opportunities, created additional parking in the downtown, and continues to create a sense of place within the US-1 corridor. Designed by Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc., the project was constructed by Sealand Contractors Corporation with engineering inspection services provided by R.J. Behar & Company, Inc. Funding for the project came from five sources: FDOT’s contribution was $5,051,604, Federal contribution was $2,189,840, the City’s contribution was $2,957,480, the CRA’s contribution was $3,614,188, and developer contributions were $178,734.

FRA is a 300 member, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting Florida professionals and volunteers in community revitalization efforts. FRA advocates for quality urban economic development and urban infill and serves as a statewide clearinghouse for redevelopment information.