City leaders say they have a solution for Pier Park traffic jams


PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — Traffic jams and construction are how a lot of residents would describe traveling along Pier Park.

Panama City Beach officials are working toward a solution.

“There is just dead stop traffic, and when I am on my bike and I pass all of these people in their cars at a dead stop, yea it’s really tough,” said resident Karin Doheny.

Traffic is the number one problem Panama City Beach faces daily, but officials are working on a new by-way to hopefully solve some of those traffic jams.

“Phillips Griffiths Senior Parkway is just a two-lane road but we have the right of way to expand that to a four-lane road from Highway 79 to Nautilus Street, and that’s what it is going to be when we open it,” said Panama City Beach City Councilman Paul Casto.

Casto said residents should expect delays over the next few days along Back Beach Road (US 98) near Pier Park. They have to close part of the roadway to make sure that Phillips Griffiths Senior Parkway can open by June 1.

“We are close to 90% complete with this three miles section there,” said Casto.

This highway would act as an express by-way extending three miles right behind Pier Park North. Casto said he feels this new roadway will help move traffic better than Front Beach, Middle Beach, and Back Beach roads. 

“When this road has completed the state of Florida has agreed to take over the maintenance on this highway so any future repairs or expansion will be done by the state of Florida instead of the city or the county,” said Casto.

And it is good news for residents who plan their day around traffic in that area.

“What day is it, are we going to go out, are we going to stay at home and just wait until the weekend. What holiday is it for the kids,” said Doheny.

They are more than ready to see less congestion and smoother travel.

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