PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Transportation officials are moving forward with plans to widen U.S. 98, or Back Beach Road.
The Bay County Transportation Planning Organization approved a plan Wednesday afternoon to acquire the right-of-way for the widening project.
The goal is to expand the highway from 4-lanes to 6-lanes from the Hathaway Bridge to Mandy Lane, which is nearly 8-miles.
“The main purpose of us widening U.S. 98, Back Beach Road is to increase capacity,” said Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson, Ian Setter. “By doing that the number one thing we’ll get out of there is improving safety, less congestion means less crashes in that area. You’re going to have a safer route, we’ll be able to move people much more quickly and efficiently and more importantly, we’ll be able to move them safely through that area.”
Satter added FDOT will buy the property next year, the acquisitions amount to nearly $29-million.
The state has not funded the actual construction costs for the project.