Walton County commissioners look at 30A traffic relief options

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SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - From Seagrove Beach to Seaside, getting stuck in 30A traffic seems inevitable, funneling most to the County Road 395 intersection.

"It's a pretty big stretch between 395 and Watersound Parkway between Highway 98 and 30A. As far as the county goes, it's the widest stretch we have between any connector roads that are north, south and that's a very growing area," said Walton County Public Information Officer Louis Svehla.

This problem has county commissioners looking at options presented by Atkins Engineering on ways to divert the traffic off the two-lane road.

"We had a special meeting for the Board of County Commissioners that really discussed two topics," said Svehla. "One of the main ones was an update on the 30A traffic study which had some recommendations that we've looked at before for possible different roads that could be built to help ease some traffic really in that 395 and 30A area and 30A in general."

Several months ago, the board began looking at an option that would put a bypass type road between 395 and 30A.

"So there were some options presented. Atkins gave those options for the board to look at, get some information, gave some overview of what some potential costs could be, potential impacts to the state forest, those kinds of things," Svehla described.

Commissioners have now asked Atkins to also look at an option that would use a power line easement that runs through Point Washington State Forest to connect 30A to Highway 98, leading out near New Elementary School South and the new sports complex.

But because a majority of the land between Watersound Parkway and 395 is owned by the state, finding the least impactful route has been a difficult process.

"They continue to look at ways to help traffic there, help flow there, and a lot of the public has shown interest in potentially having some kind of connector road," said Svehla.

At the last county commission meeting, board members decided to install a traffic light at the 395/30A intersection, as well as create a right turn lane.

County officials said they expect the intersection improvements to be done by the beginning of next spring.