Update on South Walton underpass construction

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INLET BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Department of transportation officially broke ground on the Highway 98/County Road 30A pedestrian underpass in March of last year.

Since then, the area has seen different traffic shifts as work continues on the $5.6 million project.

“Right now they are on the north side of that tunnel,” FDOT Public Information Director Ian Satter said. “They are constructing the barrier walls that are in place, the walls that will keep in place that are the walls for the actual tunnel and they’ve actually put up the decorative part of that as well so progress is continuing to move on that project.”

Satter said they are taking every precaution to make sure the tunnel is being constructed to last for a long time in order for pedestrians to have a seamless way to get across Highway 98.

“With the amount of growth they are seeing in that area, with the amount of pedestrian traffic we have in that area and looking at the amount of traffic on U.S. 98 with bicycles, we saw that we had an innovative way to handle some of that and provide a safety feature for our pedestrians and bicyclists so that’s why the tunnel was chosen,” Satter said. “It’s not the option for every place but it was something that we could do here.”

In the meantime, Satter presses the importance of being aware of work zones.

“One of the things we always ask for is please be aware as you are traveling through these work zones to be cautious, be careful when lane shifts occur. We have people working in those work zones so make sure that you avoid distractions, pay attention and drive safely through those work zones,” Satter said.

FDOT hopes to wrap up work on the project in the later part of the summer into the fall.

Satter said this will only be the second pedestrian underpass of its kind in this region of Northwest Florida, the first being at FSU.

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