New connector road opens in Walton County

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:47 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A project that began in 2017 has now come to an end. County Road 280B in Walton County is officially open to traffic.

State and local officials gathered in DeFuniak Springs just off of Highway 331 Wednesday morning to celebrate the opening of 280B with a ribbon-cutting.

Walton County Commissioners said the road serves as a connector between County Road 280A and Highway 331. It will connect the east end of Walton County to DeFuniak Springs.

Officials said there were four ways to get to town from the valley, but it would take between 15 to 20 miles. 280B is only two miles long so it is cutting down on the driving time.

Commissioners also said the road will be helpful for emergency services as they can use it to get to the county’s east end.

The project in total cost $7.1 million. The new 22 feet-wide roadway is approximately two miles in length with a 720-feet long concrete bridge over Bruce Creek.

Officials said funding for the road came from the Florida Department of Transportation and the Walton County Board of Commissioners.

“The Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida legislature, and Governor DeSantis all helped us out with some additional money this year and let us get across the finish line,” Danny Glidewell, Walton County District 2 Commissioner and Vice Chair, said.

A former county commissioner says it’s been a very long time since a brand new road was built in Walton County.

“We’ve done some collective, putting a couple of short pieces together, but as far as building a brand new road this is one in probably 40 or 50 years,” Bill Chapman, a retired Walton County Commissioner, said.

Many officials also took the opportunity on Wednesday to drive the road for themselves.

“I just drove the road it is very smooth. Very scenic through there. So I am very happy that it finally came around for the people of the county,” Chapman said.

NewsChannel 7 was told there are other developments in the works for this area.

“The veteran’s lodge is going there and then there is some more development planned along here along 331. There are some other projects on the drawing board that would be significant but those two have been approved,” Glidewell said.

But for now, this road is serving as a connection allowing people to get from one side of the county into town.

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