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Opening of Philip Griffitts Senior Parkway delayed a few months

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Philip Griffitts Senior Parkway, or “Back” Back Beach Road to some, aims to provide relief to drivers on Back Beach Road.

“Well, we got a way around Pier Park. Pier Park is usually our biggest hindrance,” Field Inspector Joe Pace said.

Phase Two of the new road broke ground last April, with the goal of opening it to drivers around the end of March, or early April this year.

Pace said issues have pushed back the opening until mid-June.

“Weather. Strictly weather delays,” said Pace.

Thirty-five inclement weather delay days Panama City Beach engineer Kathy Younce said.

“The contractor has been fantastic. They’ve actually been working when it’s raining,” said Younce.

Working to keep the project moving forward, Younce says part of the two-lane road still needs to be paved and the whole road needs to be striped, but she says they’re happy with the progress.

Other small checklist items like signage, erosion control on the pond, and ditch work also need addressing.

“We need to do a final walk-through and make sure everything is built per approved plans,” said Younce.

This $16 million project will connect the existing Bay Parkway east to Nautilus Street running parallel to Back Beach Road.

“It’ll be nice and smooth and it’ll be a good shortcut,” said Younce.

Younce said the pandemic did not slow down any part of the construction. She adds weather permitting, there’s no reason for the opening to be delayed again.

The part of Gayle’s Trails that closed on January 1st for this phase of construction will remain closed until the opening of Philip Griffitts Senior Parkway.

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