Bay County Transportation Planning Organization moving forward with 231 flyover

CALLAWAY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - On Wednesday afternoon, the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization heard the latest on the Highway 231 flyover from the Florida Department of Transportation.

The new designs feature no retaining walls. (FDOT)

They decided to move forward with the project after seeing some design changes.

Ian Satter, the spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation said, "I think the biggest thing people are going to see is the more open concept of the flyover. We've actually added in some more open space underneath it. We've included a feature which features a larger roundabout to allow Harrison, Jenks, and some other roadways in that area."

The old plans had retaining walls but the new plans get rid of the walls, which transportation officials say opens up more avenues to pursue in the future.

Robert Carroll with the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization said, "Mainly how much green space and the openness and the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere we're going to have underneath this. It's going to have a gathering spot where before it was just to move traffic."

But some are still not happy with the overall plans saying the flyover itself is not the right option.

Lynne Schneider with Panama City Growing Strong said, "What's going to happen long term is the same thing that was going to happen before. We're going to find ourselves 30 or 40 years from now looking at concrete that has been shaked, rocked, and rolled, and has stress fractures in it. We're going to have to sit down and figure out, 'What do we do?'”

Officials with the Department Of Transportation say while construction is still years away, the designs can be tweaked to an extent without starting completely over as the project already has $43 million invested in it.

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