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Matanzas Woods Parkway Overpass Closes June 5 as Three Road Projects Start Rumble

| April 28, 2015

About 50 people turned up for an overview meeting about the road construction projects about to start in Matanzas Woods. (© FlaglerLive)

About 50 people turned up for an overview meeting about the road construction projects about to start in Matanzas Woods.
(© FlaglerLive)

Fifty people turned out Tuesday evening to hear about road closures, lane closures, detours and the length of inconveniences that will parallel construction of the $9 million Matanzas Woods Parkway interchage with I-95 and the $5.7 million extension and four-laning of Old Kings Road from Forest Grove Drive to Matanzas Woods Parkway starting this summer.


There’ll be plenty of construction activity in that area: three independent but related projects. A third project, not discussed Tuesday evening, is the two-lane extension of Palm Harbor Parkway to Matanzas Woods Parkway. That six-month project will also start in June. But as with the Old Kings Road extension, it will have minimal impact on traffic during construction, because most of the activity will take place in the woods or in places not open to traffic at the moment.

In sum, the impacts of the various construction projects on residents and drivers will be relatively limited (some noise and the two months of road closure at the Matanzas Woods overpass aside. When it’s all done, traffic is expected to flow more smoothly, with some sharp angles and dead ends giving way to more continuous and logically directed traffic.

While the Palm Harbor extension will take six months, both the other projects are expected to take a year, starting with a hard date: On June 5, at 7 p.m., the Matanzas Woods Parkway overpass at I-95 will be entirely closed to traffic, and will remain closed until Aug. 9, so the “profile” of the road—a technical term that means the fill and mound on which it’s built can be raised appropriately to match with the requirements of the diamond-shaped interchange. That interchage will eventually be known as Exit 294. It’s the third, but possibly not the last, Palm Coast exit: the city’s long-range plans envisioned exits at the levels of Whiteview Parkway and Royal Palms Parkway as well. But that’s in the distant future.

The road-closure segment of construction coincides with the two months of summer break for the school district in general, but more particularly for nearby Matanzas High School. School resumes on Aug. 24. The Aug. 9 target date to end the road closure gives the contractors a little breathing room should the road-raising not be finished by then. Until then, drivers coming south into Palm Coast from the west will have to make a long loop south on Belle Terre Parkway , across Palm Coast Parkway and back up Old Kings Road to get into the F and C Sections. And vice versa for drivers going the other way.

When the bridge itself reopens to traffic in early August, there will still be lane closures on Matanzas Woods Parkway and on I-95 in that area, reducing traffic flow but not closing it. The lane closures will coincide with off-peak hours, said Buckley Williams of England-Thims and Miller, the engineering company overseeing the interchange project.

It'll look more distinctive than that when it's done. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

It’ll look more distinctive than that when it’s done. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Also coinciding with the Matanzas Woods interchange construction: The extension of Old Kings Road, a four-laning project that will transform the road to Matanzas Woods Parkway from Forrest Grove Drive. “This project is mostly outside of traffic, it’s mostly in the woods,” Williams said. It will be completed early fall of 2016. The result will be a divided highway with sidewalks. That extension’s aim is to create an arterial bypass, reducing traffic impacts on Matanzas High School.

Matanzas Woods Parkway itself will remain a two-lane road, which is in Flagler County’s jurisdiction. Once the two projects are completed, the county will turn the road over to Palm Coast’s jurisdiction. The city has plans to four-lane Matanzas Woods Parkway, but not for several years.

There will be no noise abatements around the new interchange. “I just find that difficult to believe,” one resident said, referring not to the construction noise, but to the noise that will be generated when the project is completed, and fewer barriers such as woods will stand in the way of what’s expected to be increased traffic.

There will be a signal at Old Kings Road and Matanzas Woods Parkway as part of the extension project. There are no immediate expectations of commercial developments in the immediate proximity of the new interchage for now, County Engineer Faith Alkhatib said, but she noted that once construction is completed the result might attract uch businesses as gas stations or restaurants.

Palm Coast Parkway construction, incidentally, will be completed by this fall. And Palm Coast is in the design phase for the four-laning of the northern portion of Old Kings Road, merging with what will be the new portion of the Old Kings Road extension. But funding for that project has not been secured yet.

There were about a dozen questions from residents at the Tuesday evening at the Palm Coast Community Center. Most questions focused on specific technicalities, dates and safety measures surrounding the project. One question about where the construction equipment will be staged—or located when not at the construction site—was not answered: Williams said that plan is still in the works.

“This is such a huge statement about Palm Coast and Flagler County that I wish more residents would come to these meetings, because this is a big deal,” David Alfin, the Realtor, who was in the audience, said after the meeting. “It shows the cooperation between the county, the city, the federal government and the state to encourage the future development of Palm Coast and Flagler County, and I think there’ll be future projects as well beyond this one.”

Just one person took advantage of the comment cards left for the public: “Hurry,” the person said, “this should have been done years ago.”

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20 Responses for “Matanzas Woods Parkway Overpass Closes June 5 as Three Road Projects Start Rumble”

  1. Groot says:

    Hooo boy, glad I don’t own a home on Luther or Ludlow, those streets will border freeway ramps. The environmental barriers that have been set up are flush on their backyards. Hopefully, this will otherwise generate some retail up on US 1 and Matanzas and increase property values in the area. But it really would suck to own a home on Luther or Ludlow. I feel sorry for them and sympathize.

  2. Harry says:

    OMG…Its going to be a MAJOR “cluster buck” !!!!! I hate this city. Please somebody buy my home so I can get the hell out of here !!!! I can’t afford anymore tax increases. I can’t even afford chicken at Publix anymore….

  3. I’m pleased that something is being done around the High School, however, I notice there’s nothing in there about either maintaining or widening Old Kings south of Palm Coast Parkway. Still going to be hog-wallow avenue apparently. I’ll let the city pay for shock absorber and front strut replacements.

  4. RAKA says:

    Matansas high school will now become a prison. The residential areas of the L,P,F and C will now be open to preditors from I95. All in the interest of developers on US1. Ah progress. The city has no say in this project and does not desire any eventhough the project is in palm coast. As ex mayor Canfield has stated “we will be incorporated so that we can control our own destiny”. ?????????????????????

  5. Joy Schlegel says:

    So the overpass is closing. The construction on PC Pkwy from Florida Park Drive to 95 overpass will still be going on. Sounds like traffic will be SO much fun in that area

  6. Couldn’t disagree any more with this. I live in the F section and the BP station alone generates speeders and hundreds more cars daily passed my house. Not to mention looters and decreased property value for our homes in the area. Looking for a good realtor at this point… I don’t see the point. We already have an exchange on PCP.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are speeders all over this city, if you try to do the speed limit the people behind you give you lovely finger gestures and get mad because you aren’t speeding

  7. Billy Bob says:

    Finally!

  8. Footballen says:

    It’s progress.

    • Ray Thorne says:

      yes it is but like many other cities, hopefully we wont progress ourselves into blight and hopefully we’ll remain an attractive place to live. I for one, was taken by the natural beauty that was abundant when I first moved here. Its still a nice place to live and a lot has been done (parks, bike trails etc..) to preserve natural beauty but how much should we progress? To the point where we are just like any other city USA? Seems we’re on our way …we have some blight, we have crime even though our Sheriff tells us we don’t. We’re told crime is supposedly down 20% yet a 400 bed extension of the jail is currently under construction..But it’s where we are heading unfortunately as with “progress” comes more opportunity not just for the good but also the bad. But what do I know…

  9. Betty says:

    Yes Harry it will be a “cluster buck” while construction is happening. After it’s done though it will be smooth sailing. Maybe it will also encourage a business or two for Matanzas Woods. While I disagree with some of the politics and people in charge of the city, I do think they keep the roads in good shape and that makes a big difference in how Palm coast looks.

  10. My thoughts says:

    The problem is that the road construction won’t stop with the interchange. Look for the City to try and extend roads west of US 1 and expand Old Kings Road north of Matanzas High School. Why? Because they’re getting money from the State and Feds! How about a reduction in the gas tax?!

  11. m&m says:

    When the overpass was completed years ago as an after thought the city and county thought it should included an interchange and paid a consulting company $700,000 to study that. Where is that money?? Anyone of us would have done it free at the time. It’s been a cluster since day one.

  12. YankeeExPat says:

    Updates (new construction) and maintenance of roads are imperative for the economy and quality of life for our citizens. That being said, completion of projects should have feasible and concise end dates, which if anything are an anomaly in Florida. On a state level look at the I-4 interchange, there are projects on that stretch that date back to the late 70’s. On a local level look at the road construction at the intersection of Palm Coast Pkwy and Florida Park Dr., the street was ripped up last year and there hasn’t been any construction activity to complete the project in months. (FYI the temporary sewer lines run there smell like Bangladesh on a hot day), that will help property values! How is it that construction bids are accepted without any hard and fast completion dates contractually litigated. Five years ago motorist could count the Herons on the side of the road that has been replaced with orange construction barrels that have been in place so long they have deteriorated and no longer flash after dusk. Having multiple road projects occurring simultaneously and none with a completion goal to be met doesn’t bide well for the end consumer, that being the citizens of Palm Coast.

  13. Jon Rimer says:

    Call me crazy……but let’s finish 1 project before starting another big project in this town…..common sense people….but we all know it’ll take years to finish PC Parkway. This town and this state is so backwards at time.

  14. Fat Boy says:

    Do all these plans include a traffic light at Matanzas Woods Parkway and US1? That intersection, which is a major accident waiting to happen already, will be a disaster when the I-95 exit opens.

  15. PJ says:

    Great project, just have patience it will be worth it!

  16. tulip says:

    I like Jon Rimer’s suggestion of one project at a time. With so much being ripped up and closed down, it’s going to make a lot of drivers frustrated and do stupid things, but I’m concerned about the fact that emergency situations won’t be able to be taken care of in a timely manner because of all the detouring around and extra traffic on usable roads.

  17. cap says:

    When the project is complete it will ease the traffic at Old Kings Road and Palm Coast Pkwy
    It’s progress that really needs to be done.

  18. Gary says:

    If these idiot “Engineers” knew how to synchronize traffic lights, the traffic would flow just fine. Now the new interchange at I-95 will have a light at the ramp, turn and hit the light at the Old Kings extension. What are they doing at the Palm Harbor extension and Old Kings? Is that a traffic light too? In the morning I get onto I-95 south from the F section. If I make a right from Old Kings onto PCP (by KFC) when the light turns green, I have to speed through the light on PCP and the entrance ramp to I-95 North to get over 95 and make a left while that light is still green. Otherwise, I catch ALL THREE lights and the traffic gets back-up. I don’t go to the stores on the weekends anymore. The traffic to get to Walmart or Home Depot isn’t worth the aggravation. They need to time the lights to get the traffic through town, otherwise, you will have 4 lanes of backed up traffic and no one moving.. Stupid!

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