Florida State Road 7

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State Road 7 marker

State Road 7
Route information
Maintained by FDOT
Length 70.066 mi[1][2] (112.760 km)
Existed 1945 renumbering (definition) – present
Major junctions
South end US 41 in Miami
  US 441 from Miami to Royal Palm Beach
I-95 / SR 826 / Florida's Turnpike in Golden Glades
I-595 / SR 84 / Florida's Turnpike in Davie
US 98 / SR 80 in Royal Palm Beach
North end 60th Street in Loxahatchee
Highway system
SR 6 SR 8

Florida State Road 7 (SR 7) is a major north–south artery in South Florida connecting US 41 (SR 90) in the Little Havana section of Miami with 60th Street in Loxahatchee. All but the northernmost 6.5 miles (10.5 km) (in and near Royal Palm Beach) is instead (or additionally) signed as US 441, and has been since 1950.

Route description[edit]

Miami-Dade[edit]

The state road begins at US 41, which is also the national southern terminus of US 441. The road in Miami-Dade County is only signed as US 441, with no indication of SR 7 anywhere. It is labeled Northwest 2nd Avenue north of the Golden Glades Interchange and Northwest 7th Avenue from the Interchange south to the Miami River, after which it continues another dozen blocks to US 41 as Northwest and Southwest 8th Avenues.

Broward[edit]

In Broward County, the road is only signed as US 441, but is indicated as "State Road 7" on green street signs when approaching the road from cross streets. From the Miami-Dade County line north to Stirling Road in Hollywood, it is also known as South 60th Avenue. In addition, Broward County addresses along the route show references to "State Road 7" and residents refer to the road as both "441" and "State Road 7".

Palm Beach[edit]

The Palm Beach County stretch of US 441 / SR 7 features signs with both designations. Older maps also have the designation of "Range Line Road". In Royal Palm Beach, US 441 leaves the SR 7 indication behind, making a westward turn and overlapping US 98 / SR 80) as it approaches Belle Glade on the shore of Lake Okeechobee. The state road continues north, intersecting SR 704, and ends temporarily at 60th Street North near the Pond Cypress Natural Area. It picks up again south of CR 809A, heading north to terminate at Northlake Boulevard. The segment north of SR 704, currently maintained by Palm Beach County, is set to be transferred to the Florida Department of Transportation in a road swap for SR 850 and SR 845 within the county limits[3].

History[edit]

In 2009, part of a long-awaited northern extension opened with a 3.5 miles (5.6 km) stretch from SR 704 to Persimmon Boulevard in The Acreage. Future plans have the road extending another four miles north to Northlake Boulevard near Palm Beach Gardens, but it is not anticipated to be completed until 2015.[4] About 34 mile (1.2 km) has already been built at the Northlake Boulevard end, and is marked on street signs as State Road 7.[5]

Controversy[edit]

Environmental groups argue that the extension of SR 7 just west of the Grassy Waters environmental preserve in Palm Beach County, also the source of the drinking water supply for the West Palm Beach[6] region, threatens to damage critical habitat for several endangered species including the Everglades Snail Kite. As of 2005, only about 1,300 of the hawks were known to still be extant.[7]Because of the potential impact on nesting Snail Kites and their habitat,The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been urging the Florida Department of Transportation, since 2005, to reconsider the road placement through Grassy Waters Preserve. In its Biological Opinion issued on 13 November 2014, the USFWS stated "While the Service finds the project is unlikely to jeopardize the continued existence of the Everglade snail kite, based on the current small size of the snail kite population and the unknown, and potentially significant, effects of the project on the Everglade snail kite, the Service continues to urge the FDOT to eliminate the proposed corridor for the project and either adopt the “no build” alternative for the proposed roadway extension, or choose an alternative that does not impact the PCNA or GWP - such as an alignment west of the Ibis development."[8] The Audubon Society lists the Snail Kite population as being in trouble since much of its habitat has been drained and remaining parts inundated to improper water levels needed to sustain the Apple snails on which it feeds.[9] The SR7 expansion will exacerbate both issues by destroying habitat and changing water levels in the habitat bordering the road.

While West Palm Beach officials say they oppose the extension based on environmental concerns, proponents (including most nearby residents, two local chambers of commerce, local municipalities of Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee Groves and the government of The Acreage) point out that West Palm Beach allowed thousands of homes and roads to be built on all other sides of the Grassy waters preserve because those developments would raise taxes, and that the extension would pass by the West Palm Beach mayor's tony community of Ibis Country Club.[citation needed]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[1][2] km Destinations Notes
Miami-Dade Miami 0.000 0.000 US 41 east (Southwest 8th Street) One-way eastbound; southern terminus of US 441
0.066 0.106 US 41 west (Southwest 7th Street) One-way westbound
See US 441 (mileposts 0.000-63.556)
Palm Beach Royal Palm Beach 63.580 102.322 US 98 / US 441 north / SR 80 (Southern Boulevard) to Florida's Turnpike / I-95 – Royal Palm Beach, Belle Glade, West Palm Beach Interchange; north end of concurrency with US 441
65.556 105.502 SR 704 east (Okeechobee Boulevard) to Florida's Turnpike / I-95 – Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach West end of SR 704; north end of state maintenance
The Acreage 68.966 110.990 Permission Boulevard
Loxahatchee 70.066 112.760 60th Street North Temporary northern terminus
Palm Beach Gardens 74.150 119.333 CR 809A (Northlake Boulevard) Proposed northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b FDOT straight line diagrams Archived March 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., accessed January 2014
  2. ^ a b Google (December 30, 2015). "SR 7 north of Okeechobee Boulevard" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Long-awaited State Road 7 extension opens for Palm Beach County's western communities," Mitra Malek, "Palm Beach Post", April 7, 2009.
  5. ^ Google Street View photos, April 2011
  6. ^ "Renewed Concerns Over State Road 7 Extension" Archived 2014-09-06 at the Wayback Machine. City of West Palm Beach, "West Palm Beach", February 6, 2014.
  7. ^ Will restoring wetlands block State Road 7 extension? Joel Engelhardt, "Palm Beach Post", November 27, 2010.
  8. ^ "SR7 Biological Opinion" (PDF). www.sr7extension.com. United States Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "Everglades Snail Kite". Audubon Society. Retrieved 29 August 2016.