PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — For months people visiting the Bay County Courthouse have struggled with parking.

Originally, the renovated parking lot was supposed to be open at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, it’s not ready yet, forcing visitors and employees to park across the street.

Bay County Chief Infrastructure Officer Keith Bryant said utility delays slowed the work, but he said the project will be a huge parking upgrade once it’s completed. 

“It’s going to be more parking,” Bryant said. “The space that had been previously occupied by the finance office is going to be parking spots now.”

Bryant said the parking lot is just the first phase of the $12 million project. He said county workers are also building new courtrooms. 

“If you’ve been in, around the courthouse recently, you’ve seen the vertical stills going up now,” Bryant said. “That’s going continue. The contractor is going to build the new courtrooms and make that connection.”

Bryant said the county also plans to add a new entryway into the courthouse. 

The project is expected to take another year and a half to complete all phases.