The Coastal Star

Letter to the Editor: A1A proposal not worth massive disruption

As a resident of Highland Beach since 2002, I have a few remarks regarding the town’s proposed A1A project.

Leaving the cost consideration and funding aside (3 miles at $15 million per mile), I am concerned that the proposed A1A project will adversely impact our happy, relaxed, clean, serene and safe lifestyle. To put it simply, we will be living in a construction zone at a time when we want to enjoy retirement.

We will suffer congested traffic, pollution, noise from daily heavy construction equipment, disruption to driving, walking, running, walking dogs and breathing fresh air. A1A will have heavy equipment, trucks, tractors, jackhammers, workers and portable toilets, possibly for years.     While the project is in progress on the only road in and out of Highland Beach, it will likely impact the housing market, making it more difficult to sell, and some will be forced to lower their prices to move out.

Accumulation of storm water is a pervasive issue in Florida and its solution requires a realistic cost/benefit and engineering analysis.

The proposal to remove newly erected cement poles and wiring and move utilities underground is at odds with the two jurisdictions to the north and south of us. Boca Raton and Delray Beach maintain wiring above ground while Highland Beach proposes to bury its wiring underground at a massive cost. In case of severe storm damage, restoring power to underground wires may be more problematic.

Lawsuits by homeowners whose property will be affected by the proposed expansion of the bike paths and/or tearing up the landscaping designs are a very real possibility. While lawsuits are in court there could be extensive delays, not to mention legal fees to the town.

I was prompted to write this message because of the concerns I hear from residents when I walk daily on A1A. The disruption that will take place when the state installs a new road on A1A will be disruption enough. Adding the proposed A1A projects by the town will create havoc and unhappiness in our daily lives for years to come. Consider this potential when voting in March.

— Amr F. Moustapha

Highland Beach

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Come to the Commission meeting on Feb 5 at 130pm at town hall to voice your objections to the 3 referendums. Commissioner Peggy Gossett Seidman will be talking about OCEAN WALK AND MORE TIMELINE.

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