INLET BEACH Fla. — A pedestrian underpass will be constructed within the next year at US 98 near County Road 30-A.

Safety in the area has been a concern for quite some time.

Design plans are at 90% completion, and residents in Walton County can expect to see a new underpass start to be constructed within the next year.

“We hear those horns blare every single day right out those doors,” Christina Kelley the store manager at Willow and Mercer said.

Kelley is not the only one concerned about pedestrian safety while crossing US 98 to get to 30-A.

Florida Department of Transportation’s spokesperson Ian Satter said local lawmakers passed a bill which allowed for more than $2 million in funding to go towards creating an underpass for both pedestrians and bicyclists. Walton County is spending $1.25 million on the project.

“We are looking at our tentative 5-year work program to begin that project either later this year or early next year, based on where we are at in our funding,” Satter said. “We do have it in place but we are just working with Walton County who recently did approve.”

Because of the amount of traffic in the area, local legislators and the Department of Transportation chose this area to create better access, limit congestion and construction along Inlet Beach.

“A lot of the work will be going underground so we should not have too much impact,” Satter said. “But we will have to plan for that.”

Once construction is complete, Kelley thinks the underpass will be a fantastic addition.

“This intersection [US 98] is very really dangerous. There has been multiple accidents there,” Kelley said. “So I think by having a way for everyone to come and shop or even just come across the street and enjoy their dinner without fear for their safety is fantastic.”

Although there is no start date yet, Satter said residents should expect this project to go quite quickly since it is all underground.