Panama City Beach officials attempting to ease traffic with Bay Parkway extension

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - With more developments coming to Panama City Beach and Back Beach Road, including at least five hotels, drivers could be seeing more traffic.

Traffic is still heavily congested at times on Back Beach Road. (WJHG/WECP)

Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas says the city gets calls about traffic almost daily, but it's something that's out of the hands of city leaders.

Mayor Thomas said, "The simple truth is the main arteries in Bay County, as they are across the rest of the state, belong to the state, and that's their job is to move traffic. The main roads that clog up are state roads and that's just something that we can't be responsible for."

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for drivers with Bay Parkway or "Back" Back Beach Road.

The road skirts around some of the heavy traffic areas around State Road 79 and Pier Park Drive and it's moving to phase two.

The current plan for phase two of Bay Parkway is to extend it down to Nautilus Street to try and ease some of the Back Beach traffic.

Mayor Thomas said, "When we move down that other distance we would take four red lights out of the game and it will make an awful lot of difference."

City officials say construction on phase two should begin by the end of the year, but until then, drivers are in it for the long haul.

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