Tourism leaders, WPB officials to discuss Okeechobee Blvd. pedestrian overpass

Tourism leaders will meet with West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio next week to discuss their request for a pedestrian overpass above Okeechobee Boulevard to link the convention center to CityPlace.

Construction continues on the Restoration Hardware store in the median of Okeechobee Boulevard in downtown West Palm Beach on August 29, 2016.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Construction continues on the Restoration Hardware store in the median of Okeechobee Boulevard in downtown West Palm Beach on August 29, 2016. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

The county’s Tourist Development Council last month renewed it push for the overpass, saying link is critical to keep out-of-town visitors safe.

It is not uncommon for guests visiting the convention center or the adjacent Hilton West Palm Beach, both on the south side of Okeechobee Boulevard, to walk across the busy street to shop or eat at CityPlace.

Although West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio has nixed the walkway, the tourism board last month directed Executive Director Glenn Jergensen to draft a letter urging officials to reconsider the plan.

Jergensen said Muoio reached out to him after last month’s vote. A meeting is set for Dec. 15.  As a result, the council has put the letter on hold.

Construction continues on the Hilton West Palm Beach next to the Palm Beach County Convention Center on September 14, 2015.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Construction continues on the Hilton West Palm Beach next to the Palm Beach County Convention Center on September 14, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Tourism board member Mami Kisner on Thursday called the meeting a “positive move.”

“It is a step we haven’t had,” she said.

Rena Blades, executive director of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, said the overpass could be made to look like an art sculpture, alleviating concerns that the walkway would be an unsightly structure above the city’s main gateway.

“I think there is an opportunity for really adding a cultural aspect to this,” Blades said. “Visually, it can be an icon in our area.”