PALM BAY, Fla. — As Ron Rincones walked along Babcock Street in the Palm Bay area, he reflected on his time here — the area looks quite different now than what it used to.
- Space Coast TPO says funding issues behind Babcock slow progress
- Design phase not expected to begin until 2020
- RELATED: Babcock Street repairs now underway in Melbourne
Since the years when Ron first moved to the city in 1979, the population has increased, and so has the traffic. Ron says he is concerned about all the congestion on Babcock Street, and that it could end up being a safety issue.
"One, it's a hurricane evacuation road … secondly, if there is an accident on 95, and they have to get around it, Babcock becomes ... the main bypass for I-95, and then it's a disaster,” Ron said.
He wants the roads to keep up with the population and would like to see Babcock Street widened in the area south of Malabar Road. Unfortunately, it could be some time before anything gets done.
Spectrum News reached out to the Space Coast Transportation and Planning Organization, and they said that the problem with getting change right now is the lack of funding.
Babcock Road is a county road, not a state road. Brevard County submitted it as a priority project for federal funds in an effort to get it done as soon as possible.
Since then, the Space Coast TPO funded a study, which is underway and being administered right now by the Florida Dept. of Transportation.
However, when that study is done, Space Coast TPO officials said there is still no funding currently for right-of-way acquisition — the most expensive part of the project — or the construction itself.
The study has been ongoing since late 2017 and is expected to be completed in Spring 2020.
This upcoming spring, a public meeting is expected to be held in the area revealing some of the study’s findings. The end game is to hopefully widen Babcock Street from Malabar Road all the way south to Micco Road. In addition, sidewalks and shoulders are expected to be added as well.
Since the design phase isn’t expected to begin until 2020, it could still be a few years before anything gets done out here.