There's good news coming out of Washington, D.C. for both local drivers and disaster planners.
Cong. Allen Boyd says Congress has budgeted $6.5 million to build a new Thomas Drive Bridge over Grand Lagoon.
The Florida Department of Transportation had designated the bridge as functionally obsolete several years ago.
Emergency Management leaders say the old two-lane bridge becomes a major bottle-neck during hurricane evacuations, and police had to close the bridge for several weeks after Hurricane Opal in 1995 because of concerns about structure damage.
Cong. Boyd first requested the money for a new four-lane bridge over two years ago.
There's no word yet on a construction start date.