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Thomas Drive getting a much-needed update

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Driving down Thomas Drive can be a bumpy experience but Panama City Beach has a two million dollar plan to smooth things out.

City Manager Mario Gisbert said, “this is a project that bay county has had in the works for a good long while but they really didn’t want to do a pavement job with us having fixed or addressed the sewer issues.”

Gisbert says the sewer fixes needed in the city are getting done. “We’re basically replacing all the sewer in that area and when we replace that sewer, a lot of it we’re going to take off of Thomas Drive and put it on the parallel road and when we do that, once we’ve completed that we’ll fill in all that old pipe.”

He says once the city completes their work, Bay County will come in and resurface Thomas Drive. However, it’s not all of Thomas Drive that is getting the facelift. “The piece that runs from Joan Avenue all the way to the state park area is going to get resurfaced along with this project but it really didn’t make any sense for Bay County to jump in front of us before replacing the sewer system,” said Gisbert.

Gisbert says the work will more than likely begin in the next six weeks. Officials with the utility department say the project will take less than a year to get the sewer updates done. More time will be needed for resurfacing. Gisbert says the money for the project will be coming from the Utility Department’s budget.

News 13 spoke with Bay County officials and they say, there are not any plans currently to resurface all of Thomas Drive right now but it will happen in the future.

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