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Breaking news: Final no 2nd Tri Rail station in Boca

Don’t hold your breath for a second Tri Rail station in Boca. It’s now on a long-range transportation plan 25 years out.

Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency just approved diverting the $8.5 million to Tri Rail’s Northern Layover Maintenance Facility.

That’s the finale for plans to revitalize the city’s entire Midtown area. Original plans revolved around placing a proposed station with access to Town Center at Boca Raton mall. Possible sites were whittled down to the former King Deli’s parcel on Military Trail.

Land owner Crocker Partners, once the lead developer for Midtown, reacted to the TPA’s action Thursday, but wasn’t surprised.

“That train left the station a long time ago. When the City Council killed Midtown, they effectively killed the Tri Rail station,” said Angelo Bianco, managing partner.

The Boca station funds were taken off their priorities within five years, said Nick Uhren, TPA executive director. “We’re removing them from our priority list but they’re still in our long-range plan for the next 25 years.”

Among the yes votes to divert the funds were Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer and city councilman Andy Thomson. Both serve on the TPA governing board with other county mayors.

County Commissioners Robert Weinroth and Mary Lou Berger also voted yes as board members. Their districts include Boca addresses in the city and county, respectively.

The city agreed with the request to divert the funds by the South Florida Regional Transit Authority. A June 21 letter to the TPA said the city “still believes that this is an important and necessary project,” said the letter signed by assistant city manager Michael Woika. “The city joins the SFRTA in requesting a deferral of this project at this time.”

The city “is looking forward to the completion of this project in the future,” the letter says.

Boca’s Tri Rail Station is at Yamato and Congress roads and considered the busiest station on the corridor.

By Marci Shatzman

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