PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Phase one of the improvements to North Richard Jackson Boulevard near the Publix shopping center is underway. 

On Thursday, Panama City Beach council members awarded the $600,000 project to GAC Contractors.  

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Phase one includes adding a second left-turning lane from North Richard Jackson onto Highway 98 East.

Councilman Paul Casto said the goal is to alleviate traffic and make the intersection safer. 

“We have had a lot of accidents in that area that’s why we are trying to make it a lot safer and this is just phase one of two phases,” Casto said. 

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Phase two includes moving the entrance to the Home Depot store further north on Richard Jackson Boulevard and adding a roundabout at the end of the street.

They hope to break ground in the next month.