PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — It’s not unusual to experience a delay on the highway in Bay or Walton County.
Both counties are working on several road projects that will improve infrastructure and traffic flow near the beaches.
But they are still active construction zones and will remain that way through Spring Break.
Florida Department of Transportation Spokesperson Ian Satter said they plan for issues like this every year.
“So during that time frame, we don’t allow lane closures on those roadways. So if work is requiring a lane closure during the peak period of time from March 10th through the 26, we won’t have our contractors closing any additional lanes during that time,” FDOT Spokesperson Ian Satter said.
FDOT is currently working on a seven-mile resurfacing project from the Walton County line to Bay County and the Inlet Beach Underpass Project.
Satter said the traffic patterns will not change, however, it may take more time to navigate through those areas. He is urging drivers to be patient and expect potential delays.
“One of the things we always talk about as well is that people are coming down here to visit this beautiful area so they’re going to be using multiple different ways to get down here,” Satter said. “State Road 79 has a construction project, State Road 77 is under construction as well in Washington County, 231, so all the ways to get into this area have some construction going on,” Satter said. “we’re going to see some uptick in traffic in those areas so you can expect maybe some delays just based on the influx of traffic coming in but with our lane restrictions not being allowed during those times, we shouldn’t see too much of an impact.”
Another major project, the Highway 79 and Front Beach Road roundabout, isn’t expected to be complete until the end of 2023.
“Right now, it’s certainly a challenge with the work zone, but the ultimate goal is to eliminate the traffic signal at that location and allow traffic to freely flow in all directions,” Panama City Beach CRA Director and Corradino Group Assistant Program Manager Scott Passmore said. “We’re getting into the busy season on the beach so we work very closely, as I say, with all of our partners, with law enforcement partners within the city and the county to help manage those things, so we’ll certainly be taking a look at our signing and our maintenance of traffic, make sure everything is clear and obvious to visitors for that season.”