Panama City selects design for Cherry Street project

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–Panama City staff and residents met Monday evening to discuss the future of Cherry Street in the Cove. The City’s Public Works department is continuing with their highly anticipated plans to give the street a makeover.

After holding two workshops where the public could come and make suggestions, the city made a final decision on what the road will look like. Residents say they’re excited for the future of their neighborhood.

“It’s a perfect plan for the cove,” said Tim Fontaine, a resident of the Cove.

Commissioners say their goal was to make the roadway safe, comfortable, and diverse.

“It was really important that the feel of this, was that there was space to comfortably walk and exercise or do whatever it was. All of that plays into how it’s going to feel,” said Jenna Haligas, a Panama City Commissioner.

The selected design will narrow the roadway from 30 feet to 20 feet. It will feature a bike path on one side and a walking path on the opposite side.

“It’s more walkable and safe. You separate the bicycle traffic and pedestrian traffic from the streets and narrowing the roads actually slows down the traffic,” Fontaine said.

The project will span from Tyndall Drive to Beach Drive. Now that a design has been selected, the city will hand its plans over to Panhandle Engineering.

“We have 7 months then the engineering firm will come back to us with permits and documents to go to bid for construction,” Haligas said.

City staff says the project should be completed in 2.5 years. The project is being funded by the Bay County Half Cent Sur Tax.

Officials say this is the first residential road makeover they’ve looked into since Hurricane Michael, so they’re excited to carry over ideas from here to other parts of Panama City.

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