City of Panama City and residents discuss future of Cherry Street in the Cove

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–Since Hurricane Michael, the City of Panama City has been working to remodel many damaged roads throughout the city, looking to not only beautify them but also to improve infrastructure. Monday evening, the city held a meeting to discuss Cherry Street in the Cove.

Nearly a dozen residents showed up to the meeting to discuss the infrastructure project. They had the opportunity to share their thoughts and view conceptual designs. The project will span from Beach Drive to Tyndall Drive.

“It’s a new facility where we construct the existing roadway from two 12 foot lanes to two 10 foot lanes including 2 bicycle roads on each side of the road,” said Johnny C. Sims, Panama City’s Public Works Director.

The project is funded by Bay County’s Half-Cent Surtax which voters approved back in 2016. Sims says they hope to accomplish many things.

“Upgrade infrastructure, we’ll have new water lines, new sewer lines, we will control the stormwater and so we’ll have a new roadway,” said Sims.

The city says the project is expected to cost anywhere from 1 to 2 million dollars per phase and it will be broken up into two phases. Most residents in attendance shared similar concerns.

“The main concern was whether or not we were going to stay in the existing right-of-way or were we going to the expand the right-of-way and we’re going to stay in the existing right-of-way,” said Sims.

The project will go out to bid sometime in the first quarter of next year, then construction should begin in the second quarter.

“We’ll accept comments until the design is over and we don’t expect the design to be over until the first quarter of next year,” said Sims.

Sims says the project may take up to 3 years to be complete. The city will be holding another meeting next Monday to discuss a similar project on 11th Street.

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