As preparations get underway for a top-to-bottom renovation of the leak-prone North Fire-Rescue station, town officials have closed a portion of nearby roadway.
Wells Road at North County Road has been shut down while crews begin preparing for the arrival of temporary facilities that will house Fire-Rescue staff and equipment when renovation work on the landmarked building gets underway.
Traffic will be redirected around the closure via Crescent Road to North County Road, according to the town. Residents are asked to drive with caution and follow the signage. This traffic pattern will be in place for the duration of construction work on the temporary facilities.
Once Fire-Rescue staff moves into the temporary facilities, renovation work on the North Fire Rescue Station will begin.
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During its regular meeting Jan. 11, the Town Council approved the purchase of two trailers and a canopy that will serve as a temporary fire station once construction on the estimated $5.5 million project begins.
The dormitory trailer that will house approximately 11 Fire-Rescue and civilian personnel is expected to be delivered later this month, said Jason Debricant, the town's senior project engineer.
The other trailer is a bunker building that will house fire gear.
They will be built by Manteca, California-based American Modular Systems, which also has built modular units for the City of West Palm Beach Fire Rescue.
The three-story Fire-Rescue station at 300 N. County Road, which was built in 1927, had been scheduled to undergo an extensive renovation starting next year.
But the deteriorating condition of the building accelerated that timeline.
"We discovered roof leaks in the process of inspecting the roof," Public Works Director Paul Brazil told the council last July. "We also had a company come in and check for any water damage. They did find evidence of some mold."
Tests revealed that the air quality inside the building remained good, but council members agreed to move up the renovation by two years after deeming it a top priority during its budget workshop in July.
Council members allocated $1.5 million of a $2.7 million budget surplus for the work.
The balance of the of the estimated cost of the project could come from town reserves, or the town could finance it, Finance Director Jane LeClainche told council members last summer.
The temporary dormitory and bunker trailers will be placed at Wells Road. The dormitory trailer can hold up to six firefighters.
Fire-Rescue staff will occupy the trailers for approximately 18 months while construction is underway, Brazil told the council in January.
During that time, the traffic pattern at the intersection of Wells Road and North County Road will be modified to go around the temporary site.
The new traffic pattern will be in place for the next two years while North Fire Station improvements are ongoing. Drives are asked to drive with caution and follow the signage.
For information about the project, visit townofpalmbeach.com.
Jodie Wagner is a journalist at the Palm Beach Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.