Inlet Beach underpass to help pedestrians safely cross Highway 98, 30A intersection

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - New restaurants, shopping, and apartments are popping up around South Walton county.

Inlet Beach could soon get a pedestrian underpass at the intersection of Highway 98 and 30A. (WJHG/WECP)

And with so many new people moving into the area, Leigh Moore with Scenic Walton says more things are needed to keep people safe.

"What we want to do is separate the pedestrian/cyclist traffic from the vehicular traffic," said Moore.

The intersection of Highway 98 and 30A is one of the busiest in Walton County, and officials say an underpass is a key to keeping both motorists and pedestrians safe.

"I feel and a lot of people feel that lives are at risk, and we don't want to see any tragedies happen at the intersection," said Moore.

The underpass will be on the east side of 30A, connecting the north and south sides of Highway 98.

Project leaders say the design will match the area aesthetically and includes a pump system so people can use it even after heavy rain.

"They did Geotech work ahead of time and determined how high the water table is," said Moore.

Nearby business owners say the underpass will also help relieve some of the parking issues on the north side of 98.

"Provides people the ability to get over here without getting in their cars, parking's very difficult on 30A, we know no one wants to get in their cars, come find parking, then find parking again across the street," said Jordan Corchis, Co-owner of Amici.

The design of the underpass is finished, but still needs final funding approval from the Florida Department of Transportation. Construction could start in early Fall 2020.

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Design for the Inlet Beach underpass on Highway 98 and 30A. (Scenic Walton)
Design for the Inlet Beach Underpass on Highway 98 and 30A (Scenic Walton).