Alf Coleman Road improvement project moves forward

One road in particular is especially problematic during flooding. NC7's Katie Bente says its an issue that could soon be behind us.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 8:07 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Some much-needed changes are in the forecast for a popular Panama City Beach roadway. On sunny days, Alf Coleman Road is all clear. But with Florida weather, rain showers are all too common which become a huge problem for the flood-prone area.

“Very popular, it’s right next to Lowe’s and of course Dairy Queen. So a lot of people go in and out right there,” Panama City Beach Councilman Phil Chester said.

Heavy rainfall can cover the road completely, causing a safety hazard for both motorists and pedestrians. But a project has been in the works to change that for good.

“This would be a big relief just knowing that you know, the streets not going to flood and we don’t have to go out and put up signs and pedestrians can still walk up and down the sidewalks,” Chester said.

As part of the city’s CRA project, the more than half a mile stretch will be getting some big improvements.

“So the road goes up about 14 inches from its current elevation. And that is part of our FEMA funding that we’ve obtained for the project in addition to the DOT funding, so that pays us to get it out of the 100-year floodplain,” Scott Passmore, Assistant Program Manager at Corradino Group, said.

Not only will the road be raised, but it will also be better lit and more walkable.

“I think the other key feature and that’s always an important thing is we will have continuous sidewalks on both sides of the corridor as a part of the project,” Passmore said.

The city began advertising for bids on the project Monday. Following the traditional 30-day cycle, the project will go out for bid on March 23rd.

It’ll be a few weeks of approvals from both the city and the federal government before construction can begin.

Once construction begins, officials said there will be a roughly four-month period where the roadway changes, and people will likely have to detour down Richard Jackson Road.