Local and state officials discuss transportation projects

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–Transportation was on the mind of many local and state officials as they met Wednesday to discuss the future of Bay County’s roadways.

The Florida Transportation Commission held a workshop to get updates on current and future projects.

Local leaders spoke before the FTC, explaining their transportation concerns as the county looks to the future.

“The commission, their responsibility is to do oversight of the Florida Department of Transportation. We just keep them updated on the projects that we do. As they see it, they don’t get into specific projects or information about that,” said Phillip Gainer, Secretary for the FDOT District 3.

Representative Jay Trumbull spoke before the commission, voicing concern for debris pick up in Mexico Beach.

“To have a $3,000,000 annual budget and a $60,000,000 is not something we can ask them to do, we cannot ask the citizens to bail themselves out of something like that,” Rep. Trumbull said.

The FTC also heard from Panama City City Manager, Mark McQueen, about the city’s ideas to improve traffic at the intersection of Highway 231, 15th Street, and Harrison Avenue.

“It’s a congested space and what we wanted to do was highlight these ideas, the cornerstone ideas and how they can be advanced in what we’re now calling uptown, that intersection next to Tally-Ho,” McQueen said.

McQueen says they’re exploring different solutions including a grid system.

“Certainly we think that there are alternative methods than putting a huge flyover where you have 12 lanes of traffic and a traffic light 30 feet in the air. We think there’s a better way to do that,” McQueen said.

Hearing local transportation issues helps the commission when it comes to exploring policy changes on a state level.

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