End to Back Beach Construction Approaches

By: Carly Hildyard Email
By: Carly Hildyard Email

Panama City Beach Drivers on Back Beach Road have been dodging construction on the road since December 2012, but we may be seeing an end to that soon.

The Department of Transportation is hoping to be done by the end of July.

But for now, the nighttime resurfacing project means lanes are closed and traffic can back up.

Add in summertime traffic, and it's especially important to drive without distractions.

Heavy traffic and construction can make driving dangerous.

Panama City Beach police officers are urging drivers to always be careful on the road, especially when it comes to distracted driving.

"It only takes a fraction of a second to take your eyes off the road for an accident to occur," Deputy Chief of Panama City Beach Police Chad Lindsey said. "And it's not even necessarily something you could do, but it could be somebody else doing it that you could avoid, and if you're distracted then you're not going to avoid an accident."

Police say they've pulled over more than 40 people for speeding since June 1st on Back Beach Road.

They say minor stop-and-go accidents often aren't reported, but Lindsey says tickets and accidents were likely caused by distracted diving.

"If you must look at your phone or if you must take a phone call, please pull over and be safe," Lindsey said.

Department of Transportation officials say it's important to look out for more than your own vehicle.

"You really need to pay attention to the workers out here," Ian Satter, the Public Information Officers for the Florida Department of Transportation, said. "The roadway might have changed since the last time you've driven it just depending on the type of construction that's going on."

Lindsey also says to be aware of tourism traffic during the summer months.

"We want to make sure that they get here safe and they go home safe," he said.

The end to the more than $10 million project is in sight.

Satter says once construction is completed by the end of next month, speed limits will return to their original numbers, which range from 45 5o 55 mph.

Remember, speeding fines are double in marked construction areas, so be sure to slow down for workers and your wallets.


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