Heads up Bay County drivers! A big construction project began Monday as crews begin the State Road 388 widening project.
“We are seeing a significant traffic increase on 388 in both directions, even before the storm and recovery travel,” said ECP Airport Deputy Executive Director Richard McConnell.
The two lane State Road 388 from State Road 79 to East of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is taking on more traffic than it can hold. The road through the woods is one of the few options for drivers to get from one side of the county to the other and to the airport. That’s why the often dark, narrow road will soon be transformed into four lanes under a multimillion dollar project.
“The airport is growing and doing real good right now and I think them getting ahead of this before it gets too bad, I think it’s a great idea,” said Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas.
The project includes a new traffic signal at 79 and 388, and a multi-lane roundabout at the entrance of the airport.
“I think the roundabout along with some additional signage along 388 are going to significantly increase the efficiency of people getting in and out of the airport,” said McConnell.
Mayor Mike Thomas said it’s the better option compared to a traffic signal.
“As the airport gets busier we don’t need to be stopping things, this keeps it moving and I think it’s a great idea,” said Thomas.
Other improvements include a twelve-foot shared-use path along the south side and buffered bike lanes.
The entire project is set to be completed by 2023.