Callaway officials hope to speed up Highway 22 widening project

The commission will discuss the resolution at Tuesday's meeting. (WJHG/WECP)
The commission will discuss the resolution at Tuesday's meeting. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 8:44 PM CST
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On Tuesday night, Callaway officials passed a resolution to present to the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization about splitting the Highway 22 widening project into two phases.

The first from Star Avenue to Tyndall Parkway and the second from Tyndall Parkway to Business Highway 98.

Callaway City Manager Ed Cook said, "The purpose of the split is due to basically health and safety issues due to flooding on Highway 22. Specifically in front of City Hall and down through several intersections where during a large rain, we can have anywhere from 8-10 inches of water going over top of the state Highway."

Susan Monroe is a manager at J.R.'s Rib Shack at the intersection of Highway 22 and Star Avenue and she says they've been dealing with flooding concerns for years and believes the widening project could help businesses.

Monroe said, "We've been here since 2002 and we've been dealing with it in our parking lot and almost in our building for years. If it's going to get the flooding under control for all the business owners on Highway 22, I am all for it because we all experience it."

Officials with the Florida Department of Transportation said designs are underway for the project but there is not any money for right of way acquisition or construction.

That's why Callaway officials hope the resolution can help move the project higher on the priorities list.

"Within the next several months TPO will be meeting and they will make a determination on the priorities of projects and we're hoping at that point they will take into consideration the health and safety issues we have on Highway 22 and go ahead and move that priority up," said Cook.

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