Construction on Inlet Beach underpass will start this month

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 8:26 PM CST
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The intersection of Highway 98 and County Road 30A in South Walton is busy, even during the offseason.

But traveling around Inlet Beach may soon get easier, thanks to a new underpass.

“That intersection is a bit chaotic right now,” said Inlet Beach resident Mike Scher, “there’s a lot of businesses and a lot of new homes going up north of (Highway) 98.”

“(Highway) 98 is very busy and heavily congested, especially, what used to be a few months of the season, the tourist season. Which we now know, those who live in this area, and work and bike in this area, is all year long,” said Florida Department of Transportation public information manager Tanya Branton.

During construction, drivers will see overnight lane closures, and the speed limit will be reduced to 35 miles per hour.

People who live in Inlet Beach said they understand construction traffic is part of the growing pains.

“Inlet Beach is growing, it’s growing very fast, it’s probably the fastest growing area in all of Walton County because we have great beaches and we just need this kind of infrastructure to keep up with all the demand,” said Scher.

Branton says the project will help increase safety.

“We just ask that people be patient with us throughout construction. And there will be pedestrian detours and bicyclist detours throughout the construction as well,” said Branton.

Construction on the 5.6 million dollar underpass is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The overnight lane closures will be from about 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

However, officials say that won’t start until April or May.

There will be no construction during the spring break weeks of March 12th through the 22nd.

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