Thursday, March 9, 2017

This will not take long today: More about the Blueway Trail Coalition meeting in West Palm Beach on March 3rd.

Please note: Below is a re-post from yesterday just in case anyone missed this latest update. Stay tuned throughout the week for more information with a photo or image including a short explanation. At the end of this blog post is a link to the original post from March 6th and an update that followed.

As always, Thank You for visiting today.

The image below is roughly the position of the proposed fishing piers on the West Palm Beach side and in Spillway Park (Lake Worth). Remember, these will be constructed using concrete pilings and much closer to the water, better for fishermen and the fish too. The piers that existed prior were about 15′ above the water. Upon catch and release the fish weren’t given any favors when hitting the water with a loud Smack!

In defense of fishermen and fisherwomen, there was and still is no access to the waterline by trail or any other means, due to heavy vegetation, trees, and debris.

Click on image to enlarge:
The image above (orientation: up is north) is a current one with an overlay of the proposed fishing piers on each side of the C-51 Canal. The S-155 Spillway is on the left (west). Water flows east into the Intracoastal, aka, Lake Worth Lagoon.

One of the big benefits of the Blueway Trail Coalition (BTC) project are those substantial number of people who live along the freshwater Chain of Lakes along the eastern part of Palm Beach County. That waterway network, after the Blueway project is completed, will then allow those County residents access to the Intracoastal Waterway by small boat, canoe, kayak, and attract tourism and ecotourism as well.

The historical record is clear. Access to and from the Intracoastal Waterway, once upon a time, did exist. But when the S-155 was constructed, circa 1960, public access was severely limited: 

Dixie and Federal highways are clearly visible in this circa 1950 photo. See what’s in between? Look close. That is a former marina in Lake Worth (south side of C-51 Canal). Read about that using this link.

Fishing and the boating industry were once vital for our regional economy in Central Palm Beach County. My theory is when the S-155 was constructed, later followed by I-95, that precipitated an almost 50 year economic decline for this part of Palm Beach County, and cities like Lake Worth are still trying to recover and find a new purpose for our once-vibrant Dixie Hwy.

Back to the first photo of the fishing piers above. The small extensions on the eastern leg of the docks will not be included in the final plan. These were to be “floating” docks. The South Florida Water Management District will not permit this type of dock on the C-51. However, another fixed extension of some type may be possible for kayakers and other uses.

For the original blog post about the BTC meeting on March 5th use this link: a blog post that is quite lengthy but does provide a lot of background and demonstrates how the project has progressed, and changed, over the last year. Use this link for the update on March 8th.