More Talk of Replacing the Grand Lagoon Bridge, But Who Has Funding?

All of us know what it’s like to be stuck in traffic, and if you visit Panama City Beach on a regular basis you have probably been stuck trying to cross over the narrow Grand Lagoon Bridge on Thomas Drive.

Now residents are coming together with elected leaders to come up with a few designs of a new four-lane bridge to replace the 55-year-old, two-lane bridge.

The present bridge is about 36 feet wide and only nine to 10 feet above the water level. Under consideration are four bridges, all for lanes, pedestrian lanes, and it will be longer.

A longer bridge means a bigger opening for the water to flow through. It would keep the water cleaner by flushing the west end of the lagoon.

Bay County Commissioner Jerry Girvin says safety is a big issue.

“Each side of the two lane bridge is four-laned, so you have a severe traffic jam problem especially during hurricane evacuations. Even with just normal day to day traffic during the peak tourist season you see all kinds of bottlenecks.”

Money for potential replacement would come from federal, state and local levels. Currently, the funding has not been appropriated.