New 30-A Bridge Plans Concern Business Owners

Highway 30A in area of Big Red Fish Lake is washing away due to flash flooding.
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SOUTH WALTON - Part of 30-A in South Walton is still blocked because of flood damage two weeks ago. Walton county commissioners voted Tuesday to build a permanent bridge to solve the problem.

Business owners tell NewsChannel 7 they're hoping for a quick fix to keep customers coming in now.

The section of scenic 30-A near Big Red Fish Lake was severely damaged about two weeks ago. For some it's an eyesore.

For many nearby business owners it's much more severe than that. Jack McTighe is one of those business owners hoping county officials will do something quick.

"I'm going to start laying people off because I'm not getting the clientele I usually get and this is our last big weekend and that's shot," said McTighe.

Tuesday Walton County commissioners voted to build a new bridge, That could take months, which doesn't help business owners right now.

"The whole thing is we need to get this thing open someway as quick as possible because it's affecting all the businesses in the area on the whole west side and it's also affecting everyone on the east side too because they can't get over there," said McTighe.

County officials say they aren't inclined to compromise.

"We're trying to do whatever we can do as quickly as we can and make sure it's in the issuance of public safety. The last thing that we want to do is do a temporary fix or try to put something on that road that's not as stable as it should be," said Louis Svhela, Walton County spokesman.

County officials say the bridge could cost up to half a million dollars, but business owners say, even at that cost, it may come too late.

"It affects more than just the scenic beauty of 30-A. It's the people who make their living on 30-A that are being hurt badly," said McTighe.

County officials say they're not sure when the bridge will be completed.

First they have to get permits from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers.

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