Highway 390 widening project delayed

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to officials with the Florida Department of Transportation, the third and final phase of the Highway 390 widening project has been pushed back.

"Currently we have two phases under construction, the third phase which was originally scheduled to begin in 2019 in our new tentative five-year program is actually being deferred to 2020. So we're going to see a delay in that third and final segment from Baldwin to 23rd street moved out to the early part of 2020," Florida Department of Transportation Spokesperson Ian Satter said.

The delay is caused of course, by Hurricane Michael.

"Some of the funds that we had set aside for projects here in Bay County, as well as other counties in the area, throughout Northwest Florida actually, we're going to be using some of those funds to make permanent repairs on U.S. 98 and for some of the other things that were affected by Hurricane Michael," Satter said.

While the changes in funds and priorities are driving FDOT crews in a new direction, they're also driving locals who use Highway 390 on their daily commute into inconveniences.

"We have a lot of residents who travel to and from the beach, I could see how that could hamper their travels. Especially like it is now with all the workers in town," Lynn Haven City Manager Michael White said.

The overall project spans from 23rd Street to Highway 77 and is set to ease traffic and increase safety, but since crews are hitting the road to complete different tasks, the new estimated completion date is in 2023.

"Priorities change and that's totally understandable. I do hope that they can really jump on that as quick as possible for everyone," White said.