Boca Raton Brightline station expected to open by end of 2022

BOCA RATON — A Brightline train whizzed past its newest station Tuesday morning, moments after Boca Raton city officials signed the last beam that had been placed on the platform of the city’s first high-speed train stop.

Kaufman Lynn Construction broke ground on the $56 million project — which stands next to the Boca Raton Public Library, minutes from the city’s downtown area — in January 2022. The eight-month construction period followed a hiatus in Brightline operations due to COVID-19, from March 2020 through November 2021. 

Representatives from the company joined Boca Raton City Council members, Mayor Scott Singer and Brightline officials to celebrate the completed exterior of the station and its parking garage. 

“It’s so important to be part of a major transportation network,” Singer said. “This is going to bring a huge boom to our downtown of our city.” 

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The station is expected to open to travelers at the end of this year and will connect them to other South Florida Brightline stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in under an hour. It’s projected to bring more than 100,000 annual visitors and a $10 million increase in local spending to Boca Raton.

The City Council approved the project in December 2019, months after Singer met with Brightline President Patrick Goddard and pitched the idea of a new station. With so many corporations headquartered in the city, Singer argued, Boca Raton was the right place for a new, 38,000-square-foot Brightline hub.

“Boca has a burgeoning and growing business community,” Goddard said. “It’s also a bedroom community for West Palm and for Fort Lauderdale and Miami, so it makes all the sense in the world for us to be here.” 

The city poured close to $10 million into the project, partially funded by a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant.

Next week, work on the station’s interior will begin. Over the next few months, Kaufman Lynn expects to finish the station’s roofing, add windows and fully furnish the building ahead of its opening. More than 480 people worked on the project. 

“We’ve got months ahead of us, but it certainly is a great milestone,” Kaufman Lynn Senior Vice President Garret Southern said. “One of the big things we’re here to celebrate is not just finishing the topping off, but doing so safely, so that we make sure all the workers go home to their families every night and can continue to provide for them.” 

Southern, a Boca Raton resident, said there’s clear demand for the station — he’s received many pictures of the job site from people passing by. He expects it will reduce local traffic and eventually connect Boca Raton with future Brightline stations. A stop in Aventura is also set to open at the end of 2022, while a station at Orlando International Airport will begin receiving trains in 2023.  

“Our residents are going to enjoy the convenience of being able to go down to Miami, to Orlando, and eventually beyond on Brightline,” Singer said. “Our restaurants, cultural attractions, and other places downtown will be able to attract people from all around South Florida, without their having to get in their car.” 

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