Highway 331 Expansion Update

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WALTON COUNTY-- The four-laning of Highway 331 in Walton County is keeping Department of Transportation project managers pretty busy.

"Currently there are three projects on 331 that are in construction, or going into construction,” said Ian Satter, Spokesperson for Florida Department of Transportation.

The three projects are phase one, the Clyde Wells Bridge, phase two, from the north side of the bridge to Highway 20, and phase three, from Highway 20 to Interstate10.

County Commissioners said they receive calls and emails daily from property owners concerned about how the expansion project will affect their home or business.

Some board members had questions of their own.

"Property owners along the new corridor that may or may not have a driveway cut access property off the system, will they have the ability to get a permit to are they going to be able to get a permit to develop a cut-in for just the driveway,” said Chairman Bill Chapman.

But FDOT officials have run into one problem.

The property they are looking to acquire outside the hospital in DeFuniak Springs may not go through.

Which means for this area it may stay a two lane road.

"We are going to move that one mile segment adjacent to the hospital we are going to take that out of our current contract. And what we are going to do is re-design and re-design that segment,” said Tommy Barefield, FDOT District 3 Secretary.

FDOT said they will continue to update the board and residents through public meetings.

"We like to make sure the public is aware of what is going on in these projects, because this project affects them, and the roads they use,” said Satter.

Satter said DOT will also be conducting a four year study on extending a four-lane on Highway 331 north from Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs to the Alabama state line.