Roadway Plans

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The Florida Department of Transportation is announcing their plans for construction and rehabilitation for local roadways.

State officials met Friday at the Panama City City Hall to go over the plans they have for Bay and the surrounding five counties for the next five years.

Overall, the department looks to spend $2.1 billion in local projects, with 48 percent of that cash in construction. Most projects will not begin until the year 2008.

There are several additions projects planned for Bay County. Highway 79 will have lane additions and reconstruction. Also there will be a safety project at Kingswood Road.

There are two bridge plans in store for Bay County. Funding is set aside for the engineering of a bridge over Grand Lagoon, and the Bay Line Railroad bridges will be repaired. Highway 20 will see some resurfacing, and Baldwin Road between State Road 390 and St. Andrews Boulevard is getting an addition of lanes.

What you don't see on this list is how the department is planning to alleviate the headache on Highway 390.

Tommy Speights with the Department of Transportation said, "We do not have funds for construction. However, we do have funds for a design phase of 390 from 23rd St. up to airport. That project will be done in phases. So we have some money for design on one phase of the project, but the other phases are incomplete at this time."

Another traffic nightmare is the Highway 98 and 23rd Street intersection on the east side of the Hathaway Bridge. Speights says there is not funding for the project now, but they are in the design phase.