PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - If you're traveling on Back Beach Road, you may notice the new traffic light blinking at Cauley Avenue, but it won't be activated for another year.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is postponing activating the light until the new Panama City Beach Sports Park opens.
FDOT Spokesperson, Ian Satter, said the new light was built for two reasons, the first to help with congestion.
"We have 40,000 cars that travel through this intersection daily, and in 20 years you're looking at over 70,000 cars, so we have a lot of vehicles here that we need to make sure that we're helping the traffic flow and improving safety," he said.
Satter said DOT also wants to help with traffic coming in and out of the Sports Park.
"We want to make sure that we have built not only for the current conditions, but for the future conditions when the Sports Park is completed," he said.
But with the Sports Park not opening until Memorial Day next year, DOT postponed the activation date until the park actually opens.
"Right now it is in a yellow blinking mode to get motorists accustomed to the new signal here," Satter said.
But besides the new traffic signals, the $2.2 million project also includes new crosswalks, additional turn lanes and new bike lanes.
Satter said the biggest hope with the traffic light is improving conditions on Back Beach.
"If we can improve the flow of traffic through the area with this additional signal, hopefully that will improve congestion and make sure we don't have as many cars that are bottled up as we usually have," he said.
The new traffic signal was originally anticipated to be activated Wednesday, June 27.
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