Bay County road construction causes lane changes
Road construction has one goal: to make driving conditions better. However, the process is not without a little confusion for some.
"Be aware, situations can change. We're going to do our best to alert folks and keep them aware of the changes that are happening out here," Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Ian Satter said.
The 23rd Street flyover is designed to ease congestion, but the construction itself has created confusing lane changes.
Drivers on 23rd Street turning westbound onto U.S. 98 only have one lane right now. The right lane will take drivers to the college or the port, and they cannot cross back over.
"That's a configuration that's temporary right now, this is an active construction zone, you will see different lane configurations coming through," Satter said.
Also, drivers should be aware of the detour on State Road 388 turning into and out of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
"We understand the change with our sign being gone that it's a little bit harder to make that determination where the entrance road is," ECP Executive Director Parker McClellan said.
There is a flashing sign signaling drivers the left turn is immediate.
"Take a little time and be prepared for some unknown road conditions because of the results of the construction," McClellan said.
Leaving the airport, drivers must merge into the left lane.
"At the end of the day, I think it will improve transportation in and out of the airport," McClellan said.
While these changes may seem complicated to some, in the long run, drivers should be better off.
"We're eliminating the stoppage of traffic for east (and) westbound traffic on U.S. 98. We're allowing a more efficient way to get onto 23rd Street or exit 23rd Street to be able to get onto U.S. 98," Satter said.
The 23rd Street flyover is expected to be completed in the fall of this year. The State Road 388 widening is expected to be completed in 2023.