It’s been planned for since before Palm Coast was a city. It’s now about to happen. Get ready for the widening of Old Kings Road at Palm Coast Parkway, one of the more chronically congested segments of city streets. Construction begins next May and will take nine months, ending in January 2021.
A mile and a half of the Parkway on either side of Old Kings was six-laned for $10.5 million, a project completed at the end of 2015. The $8.2 million widening of Old Kings Road at the intersection with the Parkway is the first of several phases that will eventually four-lane 3.4 miles of Old Kings all the way to Forest Grove, north of which the road was widened several years ago.
The first phase includes just 0.7 miles. The segment stretches from the southern intersection of Old Kings with Kingswood Drive, just south of the Blare Drive entrance to the Woodlands, to Kings Way Road, also known as Celico Way, at the north end, near the Staples shopping center. The state Department of Transportation is assuming $6.87 million of that cost. The Palm Coast City Council discussed the state grant at its workshop this morning, signaling formal approval at next week’s meeting.
Palm Coast government is picking up the remainder of the $8.2 million total cost, using $1 million from transportation impact fees (the one-time fees levied on new construction to defray such costs) and $350,000 from the city utility’s capital fund. Almost $1 million of that is contingency funding–that is, money set aside in case of overruns or other issues. It does not mean that the money will be spent. The transportation department does not pay for utility-line relocation costs, and of course would not pay for Palm Coast’s own extensions of its broadband, FiberNet network.
“The project is going to be done in phases due to the cost of the overall project, around $30 million,” Carl Cote, the city’s construction manager, said.
You’ll see construction activity south of Kingswood Drive, where a retention pond will be built off of Utility Drive. That will accommodate the future widening of Old Kings, south to Town Center Boulevard.
The Old Kings Road-Palm Coast Parkway intersection flows well east and west, but bottlenecks north and south as traffic funnels into an outdated lane structure. It is so outdated that the original design plan for its widening was done by county government, before Palm Coast incorporated in 1999, Cote said. There just hasn’t been enough money to carry out the improvements since.
For example, for traffic heading south on Old Kings, there are just three lanes at the intersection with the Parkway: two lanes turning west, or right, and just one lane both for thru traffic across the parkway and for traffic heading east. Similar limitations apply to northbound traffic, so that at peak times, traffic tends to back up considerably. (“Considerably” is a relative term, of course: in most large cities, such back-ups would be normal. But Palm Coast drivers still have a low tolerance for urban traffic patterns.)
All that will change. Southbound traffic’s funnel will be expanded to five lanes: the two dedicated westbound lanes, two dedicated thru-traffic lanes, and one westbound lane. The trees in the island at the north end of the intersection will be removed and replaced with a concrete separator, with some landscaping and trees in the median starting at the Kings Way intersection, Cote said.
The big question, of course, is when Phase 2 would take place. But that’s a mystery. “We keep pursuing grant funding from DOT. It is on their list of projects to be funded,” Cote said. “We indicated to them it’s our top priority project to get funded for construction, so it’s just a matter of when funding is available from DOT.” That second phase will itself be split in sub-phases.
“Initially,” Cote said, “this was funded as a single project by DOTR. We were seeking funding for construction as a single-phased project. After several years of getting nowhere with DOT, we had a big sit down with them, and they basically said, we’re never going to fund a $30 million project in this area, so you need to break it into phases. So they provide the funds to redesign and split the design into three projects. They say right around the $10 million mark is about the limit that will help us advance this most expeditiously.”
The last statement says it all. Does it really need it?
Tax payers could use a break .
Fpl wants to bury lines causing users higher utility bills. Water is sky high over a hundred a month. We have to help pay for tourist advertisement. I think we have forgotten that we have a high precentage of people on fixed income. Please keep that in mind.
What happened to the updates on the south side of palm coast parkway on belle terre to 100?
No street lights all dark? We’re we forgotten from the “”b””section?
I’m already moving out of this dark area to north pc
Damien Esmond says
OH MY GOD!!! YESSS!!!! Best News Ive heard all day … I have written letters to the powers that be about this ridiculous intersection. I moved to F section in the neighborhood behind Island Walk Publix across from the Bowling alley and love everything about it except for the fact it takes me 3 sometimes four long light cycles to get out of the neighborhood each morning, That traffic pattern was devised by clowns… Two lanes to make a right heading west onto PCPKWY on a long long green plus right on red privilege, and ONLY one lane to go straight (south) on Old Kings AND/OR east, with a green light lasting mere micro seconds. One Jackass texting on a cell in front of you means only 3 or 4 cars can pass per cycle… Traffic backed up back North to Dunkin Donuts each morning, Absolutely maddening. Ditto on the return trip trying to cross PCPKWY heading North on Old Kings…
And it’s insane to compare traffic on Old Kings south of PCP to the traffic north of the intersection. Allll the cars coming out of Staples shopping Center, now from Island Walk, DD, bowling alley, all the offices on Old Kings, the clubs . Agree it’s painful even trying to get in the left lane to turn on PCP heading east or continue straight.
Damien Esmond says
In response to “Rue” above and in consideration of saving Plm Coast $6M of money, This congestion could easily be solved by simply repainting some lines, Where if one were on Old Kings heading south approaching the intersection with Palm Coast Pkwy, the right lane is for turning right to head West over the I-95 overpass. The Center lane is for going straight and the left lane is for going east on Palm Coast Parkway, or better yet, a mix of east or straight. Problem solved with a couple gallons of reflective street paint, and a simple reprogram of the traffic lights. Your Welcome! I Am here to serve.
I agree with Damian!!!
The intersection should be turned into a roundabout. Problem solved. (before you get too excited that is sarcasm)
Fredrick, you damn near gave me a heart attack… Lets not give them any boondoggle ideas. Anyone can pull into the parking lot at the Wendys there between 8:30 and 9:30 am and watch. Clearly you will easily spot the root cause of this problem… 3 lanes is plenty enough, they just run them like morons?
Can You make a right on a red arrow??? I know what a green arrow means but what about a red arrow? Nobody knows what the hell is going on there its a total Palm Coast Cluster F%$K.
If it cost more than $1,ooo To reprogram light and spray paint over the stupid arrows and just revert that intersection back to ANY NORMAL intersection found in any city anywhere (i.e.: Left lane goes left. Middle lane goes straight. Right lane goes right) Somebody is pocketing side taxpayer money.
It works in some cases, like the roundabout at Old Dixie Highway and US.1, That place was scary as all ever trying to turn, cars flying by at 70 miles an hour paying no mind to the flashing yellows, so really roundabouts only work in high crash intersections. on another note, How about instead of advocating about water waste and building a splash pad at holland park, maybe they should connect Citation way to Old Kings Road South, that would provide an alternative to the 3 main roads we have in Flagler County.
If funds are so critical and FDOT says will never fund the total 30 million needed for the widening of Old Kings Road….then why the hell is the city wasting over 4 millions to destroy a 4 lane beautiful White View Parkway based in invented emails request by affected adjacent residents ( flat right out lie given to me by phone by then traffic engineer that very coincidentally and suddenly resigned after questioned), The reasons to waste our hard earned tax dollars in the destruction and reducing lanes in Whiteview Parkway is just to benefit a developer needed right of way space for its utilities serving his announced and approved project in proximity of what else “Town Center” again. This type of burden into the taxpayers pockets need to stop. Do not touch our Whiteview parkway with frivolous excuses and lies and instead use those funds where are needed in the widening of Old Kings Road to deflect the traffic in our adjacent residential streets. Also lets stop using our water utility funds as a cash cow for not intended purposes benefiting wealthy developers and then make up by raising our fees.
Also are being gouged with the current cost versus the cost of the Parkway that ended in 2015:
A mile and a half of the Parkway on either side of Old Kings was six-laned for $10.5 million, a project completed at the end of 2015. The $8.2 million widening of Old Kings Road at the intersection with the Parkway…
Is anyone looking at least to 3 bids….?
Maybe if the “traffic engineers” timed the lights so you could go more than 1 light at a time people would use the other roads. Belle Terre is horrible, I avoid it so I use other roads such as OKR adding to the problem. And I like Fredrick’s reply lol!
I avoid this intersection like the plague. You can pull up at a red light at this intersection, and the next day, you are still there. Perhaps some more high occupancy/high traffic housing is in order over there, that would be just the solution.
I cannot believe they are going to dig up those beautiful TREES at the intersection! They should be able to plan around them!!! That’s not right!
Concerned Charlie says
First of all I agree with with T.F that roads like Citation could be linked with other roads to get where you are needing to go. The problem with Palm Coast is that there are not enough cut through roads to get traffic diverted in a variety of ways. All traffic basically travels a few main veins. The Parkways and turn lanes are terribly timed and most of the time we are lucky that two cars makes it through a light and then there you sit again and again. So Brian you are correct. Damian your idea is quite logical with designating the lanes better as left goes left, middle goes straight or right and right goes right. Palmcoaster, I could not agree more that Whiteview needs the four lanes to remain and expanded all the way through at some point. The traffic is increasing as people are using this as a cut through road to get to US1. It actually gets backed up at two lanes where people make the turn onto Ravenwood. The population is increasing by leaps and bounds and trying to contain all the traffic down Belle Terre, 100 and PCPW like one big square is not working. The majority of traffic headaches are due to poorly timed lights. There won’t be a car coming but yet people sit at a red light long enough to want to run the light because it won’t change or better yet like the light coming out of Cypress Edge at steak n shake onto Cypress Point there are times your lucky two cars make it through before it turns red. And yes the cost of utilities to base fees, storm and sewer is a minimum of close to 100.00 with little being water used. I can’t wrap my head around the lack of problem solving in this town. The other factor is people are not paying attention to their driving, they daydream and sit through lights. Nothing will change that. And furthermore the US 1 roundabout is even more dangerous than it was before. People are not staying in their lane as they go around it. Entering from the south the entrance into it heading north does not have a good flow due to curbing that makes it like a right hand turn going into it. We could have saved tremendously with a three way stop light. The round about is very dark at night, no flashing warning round about signs or street lighting. Tractor Trailers cannot go into it side by side and I’ve seen them trying to do it. Election Day is coming so Lets make Palm Coast Great Again.