Thread: Proposed West Bay Parkway
Proposed West Bay Parkway
West Bay Parkway - CR 388 Project - PD&E Study
Information on the proposed road from Walton to the new airport.A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Thanks for posting. This has been in the works for some time. The overall plan for Nortwest Florida's future transportation is extensive. This expressway will add to the momentum generated by the airport and Soutwest Airlines entry to the market.
Also check out the NWFTCA master plan here - NFTCA
West Bay Parkway - CR 388 Project - PD&E Study
This new, limited-access roadway, in addition to providing easy access to the new airport, is critical for hurricane evacuation.
There are four alternative corridors, of which Alternative Corridors 2, 3, and 4 have multiple
alignment variations depending on their termini at SR 79. A description of the alternative
corridors follows. Figure 4-2 shows the alternative corridors on aerial photography.
Alternative Corridor 1: This Alternative considers the impacts of improvements along the
existing roadways and utilizes a 500-foot corridor.
Alternative Corridor 2: Begins at the intersection of US 98 near Breakers Street and utilizes a
narrower corridor width as it travels eastward through the area south of the proposed Watersound
development and north of the Wild Heron development. From this point there are four
variations of Alternative Corridor 2.
• The first (Alt 2) continues in an easterly direction utilizing a 1,000-foot wide corridor and
travels through the lighter colored swath discussed in Group 2 of the Final Grid Map
overlay until it reaches SR 79 approximately 1.0 mile north of the power line right-ofway.
• The second (Alt 2A) travels northeast across the United States Army Corps of Engineers
(USACE)/St. Joe RGP Conservation Units until it reaches Side Camp Road. From here,
the corridor continues along Side Camp Road until it reaches SR 79.
• The third (Alt 2B) travels to the northeast along the same path as Alt 2A but continues in
this direction, bridging over the ICWW, and then turns to the southeast until it intersects
with SR 79 approximately 0.5 mile south of Marilyn Road.
• The fourth (Alt 2C) follows along the same path as Alt 2B but after bridging over the
ICWW it turns to the east (rather than the southeast) and travels in this direction until it
intersects with SR 79 at Steel Field Road.
Alternative Corridor 3: Begins approximately 1.5 miles northwest of Breakers Street and
utilizes a 1000-foot corridor width throughout. The corridor travels through one of the lighter
northeast oriented swaths identified in Group 2 of the Final Grid Map, which coincides with a
gap that exists between the USACE/St. Joe RGP Conservation Units coverage. The corridor
bridges over the ICWW and continues northeast until it meets an existing logging road that it
follows to the southeast for approximately 3.0 miles. From here there are two variations of
Alternative Corridor 3.
• The first (Alt 3) continues southeast until it intersects with SR 79 approximately 0.5 mile
south of Marilyn Road.
• The second (Alt 3A) turns to the east and travels in this direction until it intersects with
SR 79 at Steel Field Road
27 West Bay Parkway (Segment 1)
Land Suitability Mapping Analysis
Alternative Corridor 4: Begins approximately 4.0 miles northwest of Breakers Street and
utilizes a 1000-foot corridor width throughout. Alternative Corridor 4 most fully utilizes the
lighter Group 1 area from the Final Grid Map overlay. The corridor begins northwest of the last
USACE/St. Joe RGP Conservation Unit and travels northeast to bridge over the ICWW. It
continues to the northeast crossing through the Devils Swamp Mitigation area at its narrowest
point and then turns to the southeast, avoiding the rest of Devil’s Swamp. The corridor then
continues to the southeast until it meets up with the same logging road utilized by Alternative
Corridor 3. There are two variations of Alternative Corridor 4 which are the same variations as
Alternative Corridor 3.
• The first (Alt 4) continues southeast until it intersects with SR 79 approximately 0.5 mile
south of Marilyn Road.
• The second (Alt 4A) turns to the east and travels in this direction until it intersects with
SR 79 at Steel Field Road
10-28-2009, 08:07 AM #3
the days of peace and quiet on the beautiful west bay will soon be replaced with jet engines and highway traffic. its amazing what we'll do to get a cheaper plane ticket......
10-28-2009, 04:22 PM #4
NFTCA has all sorts of information on not just this stretch of proposed roads, but many major proposed roads throughout NW Florida. There are maps, with labels, and priority lists, along with estimated costs, etc. -- truly eye-opening.
The map below shows the Gulf Coast Parkway proposed roads. Notice the connection of alternative corridor 8 and 17 into Hwy 388, which will basically allow people to go from South Walton to Mexico Beach, bypassing Panama City and Panama City Beach. If you look at the other NFTCA maps, you will see all kinds of alternative routes being proposed and planned.
10-29-2009, 12:14 AM #6
about how many miles is the new airport to seaside or watercolor? thanks
10-29-2009, 05:56 AM #7
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10-29-2009, 07:05 PM #10
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10-30-2009, 06:38 AM #11
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10-30-2009, 08:45 AM #12
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West Bay Parkway Meeting 6/23/11
The expressway to the aiport is something we've reported here before and keeping an eye on. Check out the interactive map on the project website to see proposed routes.
The Florida Department of Transportation is proceeding with developing a parkway which basically centers around the new airport. They have plotted several alternative roadway routes which will be the subject of the upcoming public meeting in Walton County. Also, as they said at the county commission meeting last night, a toll road is not off the table. They also indicated that "No build" remains an option. For all of those interested in this planned roadway, here is an announcement about the public meeting next Thursday. Also, you can go to the following website and see the proposed routes in Walton County.http://www.westbayparkway.com
SWCC Executive Director
COUNTY ROAD 388 / WEST BAY PARKWAY, SEGMENT 1, PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING District: Three
Meeting Type: Meeting
Date: Thursday, June 23, 2011
Time: 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Location Name: Christian International Ministries Fellowship Hall
Street Address: 5200 US Highway 98 East
City: Santa Rosa Beach
Purpose:Santa Rosa Beach MeetingThe Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) invites you to attend a public meeting concerning improvements to CR 388 (West Bay Parkway, Segment 1) from US 98 in Walton County to SR 79 in Bay County [Financial Project Identification Number: 424464-1-22-01 and 424464-2-22-01]. Two meetings will be held, one in Panama City Beach and the other in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
The proposed West Bay Parkway, Segment 1 project, will extend CR 388 and provide a new four-lane, divided highway and potentially a new high-level bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW). The PD&E Study will evaluate several alignment options north of existing State Road (SR) 30A (US 98). At the west end of the project, the study will determine the best location for the intersection with SR 30A (US 98) between CR 30 and CR 395 in Walton County. At the east end of the project, the study will determine the best location for the intersection with SR 79 in Bay County. The proposed extension is estimated to be between 11.5 and 19.0 miles long, depending on the alternative alignment selected. Seven alternative alignments will be presented at the meeting.
These Public Meetings are being held in order to inform the public of the project progress and schedule, and to receive input on the project’s seven alternative alignment options. Aerial maps will be on display and project representatives will be on hand before and after the presentations to discuss the project and answer questions. Comment sheets will be collected at the meetings.
Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status. Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Brandon Bruner at least seven days prior to the meeting.
Project Web Site: West Bay Project Web Site
Primary Contact: J. Brandon Bruner, P.E., FDOT Project Manager
Primary Phone: 850-415-9625
Primary E-Mail: email@example.com
Additional Contact: Tommie Speights, District Three Public Information Director
Additional Phone: 888-638-0250, ext. 208
Additional E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last edited by kurt; 06-15-2011 at 05:07 PM.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is proposing a new four-lane roadway, approximately 24 miles in length, referred to as the West Bay Parkway. The engineering firms of H.W. Lochner, Inc. and PBS&J have teamed together and are under contract with FDOT to conduct a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) study for the proposed West Bay Parkway (CR 388 Extension). During this study, potential locations for the new roadway will be identified and analyzed to document the impacts (both positive and negative) of the alternatives that are developed.
The overall project limits are from US 98 (SR 30) east of Peach Creek in Walton County to SR 77 in Bay County; however, the project will be divided into two segments (refer to the project map), with each segment having its own PD&E study. For more details on the segments of the project, please go to the "Project Overview" page of this website.
The benefits of the new facility include improving mobility and interconnectivity in the regional transportation network and enhancing traveler safety. Additionally, the improvements will provide better access to the new Panama City-Bay County International Airport, improve hurricane evacuation and emergency response capabilities, promote economic development in the region, and increase capacity and relieve existing and anticipated traffic congestion, particularly along the US 98 corridor.
One of the first steps in identifying potential locations for the new roadway is to develop alternative corridors (which vary in widths from 500 to 1,000 feet). Through the utilization of Land Suitability Mapping (LSM), the project team has identified nine alternative corridors for Segment 1 and eight alternative corridors for Segment 2. These alternative corridors are currently under review and are being analyzed. To learn more about the LSM process and how these corridors were developed, please click on the LSM Technical Memorandums on the side menu.
Since the actual right-of-way required for West Bay Parkway (a range of between 150 and 350 feet, depending on the type of roadway that is ultimately selected) will be much less than the corridor widths, potential locations for the roadway can be developed within the corridors during the next phase of the PD&E study.
06-23-2011, 08:30 PM #15
West Bay Parkway
Went to a meeting tonight for the West Bay parkway www.westbayparkway.com. This is a road from the airport in Panama City to Walton County. Donnie Bush of Bruce, speaking during the public comment section, stated that most of the alternative routes would have a negative impact on the Ivory Billed Woodpecker and likely cause it's demise in this part of the world. He had pictures and gave me one. There will be more public meeting on the project in the future. The only alternatives that would not impact the bird is route#2 or the no build option.
Edit- Just went to the website and the maps there are different than what was presented.
Last edited by soappedaler; 06-23-2011 at 08:31 PM.
[I decided to look it up]...
In late September 2006, a team of ornithologists from Auburn University and the University of Windsor published reports of their own sightings of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers along the Choctawhatchee River in northwest Florida, beginning in 2005 (Hill et al., 2006). These reports were accompanied by evidence that the authors themselves considered suggestive for the existence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. Searches in this area of Florida through 2009 failed to produce definitive confirmation.
Despite these high-profile reports from Arkansas, Florida, and sporadic reports elsewhere in the historic range of the species since the 1940s, there is no conclusive evidence for the continued existence of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker; i.e., there are no unambiguous photographs, videos, specimens, or DNA samples from feathers or feces of the Ivory-billed.The Cornell Lab and its partners conducted an intensive five-year search of bottomland hardwood forests in the southeastern United States. Teams searched more than 523,000 acres in 8 states, beginning in Arkansas where there were multiple compelling sightings and a few seconds of video were captured in 2005.
Though no definitive evidence of a surviving ivory-bill population was found during the recent searches, the Cornell Lab continues to analyze search data from the past five years, which will be published in an upcoming book. In addition we remain interested in possible sightings from the public. Our scientists will return to the field to investigate any credible sightings.
06-23-2011, 10:59 PM #17
Donnie Bush who spoke during the public comment section gave me a photo of the bird he saw. It looks like an ivory bill to me from the head, distinct black on top red on the side http://www.fws.gov/ivorybill/images/...rt-for-web.gif. The map you have posted is not what was presented at the meeting. The northern most segment green on your map has been eliminated. That route did not have a connector to 30A. The remaining alternatives dump traffic on 98 north of St. Joe's property so to get to 30A St. Joe can build a road through, or adjacent, to their golf course or use the exiting road they have. No build was mentioned as an option and hopefully will be the ultimate outcome.
06-23-2011, 11:12 PM #18
The possible ivory billed is only one of many endangered species in the area whose habitats can impact road-building. There's a proposed Hurlburt bypass road to the west that's gotten pushed back indefinitely because of endangered salamander habitat concerns.
06-24-2011, 05:39 AM #19
soappedaler, please post the photo of the ivory billed woodpecker. I would love to see it. I've always kept that bird in the back of my mind, and my camera poised, ready to shoot if I'm lucky enough to see one. I think any decent real photo would be worth several hundred thousand dollars to the photographer as it would surely hit National Geographic.
Public opinion survey
It doesn't look like any of the proposed roads connect to Scenic 30A. Do you mean connect to a current road which connects to Scenic 30A like WaterSound Parkway? Or a new road from 98 to Scenic 30A?
I would guess alt 6 or 7 would be the number one option as it is to the west of WaterSound and looks like it is close, maybe through, the St. Joe commercial park and close to WaterSound Pkwy, the existing connector to Scenic 30A.
I wonder if there would be an on/off ramp for Bunker? I suppose there are plenty of landowners north of the Intracoastal yearning for ramps.
Was there any talk of wetlands or bridges over wetalnds? How about wildlife underpasses?
Last edited by kurt; 06-24-2011 at 07:07 AM.
06-24-2011, 07:18 AM #22
No mention of why they made the changes. That elimination of the northern most route is not the only change, it appears that a more southerly route has been added. I don't have a scanner or I'd scan the new map and photo. I will bring the photo to the market with me on Saturday(8-12) so anyone wanting to see it can come by. The consultant said the next meeting will be sometime in the Fall of 2012. Remember that NO BUILD is an option.
Next meeting fall of 2012, or fall of 2011?
I imagine conclusive proof of the presence of ivory-billed woodpeckers would be a good reason not to build, as would a simple desire to keep that large chunk of land roadless (or unpaved at least). That probably would be easier to pull off if it were State forest land instead of private Joe-owned land.
What are our best options for additional / improved evacuation routes, other than this new parkway and four-laning 331 from 98 to I-10? Asking a general question open to everyone...
06-24-2011, 08:56 AM #25
The date is correct next meeting Fall of 2012, FDOT isn't known for it's swiftness.
06-25-2011, 02:08 PM #26
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- Santa Rosa Beach
Build AFTER Hwy 331 is 4-laned!
Proposed 4-lane highway
I didn't see another thread on this or which forum it belongs in...
I guess I don't understand how this could alleviate congestion during an evacuation. It looks to me that it would just funnel people in to PCB. I would think a 4 lane 331 and bridge in conjunction with a west to east corridor would be more effective. Just my $.02....at any rate, there is a survey so let them know what you think and how you want YOUR $'s spent.
I know this sounds a bit obvious, but wouldn't it cost about twice as much money to build a four lane bridge over the intercoastal (for this parkway) than to build one more two lane bridge over the bay for 331. All things considered (rounding up to the nearest 10 million dollars) this Parkway, of dubious need, would cost the same as four-laning 331, with bridge, which should obviously be of top priority.My mind tends to wander... but fortunately, it's so weak, it doesn't get very far...
07-10-2011, 09:40 AM #30
The intracoastal isn't very wide, maybe a couple hundred feet. The bay at the bridge is about 3 miles wide. I think the cost would be much different.
With St Joe having the land on both sides of the proposed road, I think they will get the final say.
The 4-laning of 331 and the new parkway are both in motion and on their own track. I don't think it is an either/or situation. I fully expect 331 bridge will be a toll bridge, maybe both will be.
10 cents to get in to SoWal and 5 bucks to leave.
07-10-2011, 12:29 PM #32
I think several of the roads being planned by the NWFLTA are slated as "limited access," aka - toll roads. I see the latest 2011 plans call for hwy 98, from Hwy 79 to hwy 331, to be six-lane hwy.
Plans for the by-pass to go from Ft Walton Beach to the new ECP airport are under progress. That should get interesting to see how it affects land around the new route.
07-10-2011, 12:38 PM #33
Until you get a bit past Freeport, the road essentially goes through Eglin reservation land, and then there's a fair amount of other state land and permanent conservation easement land on the other side of Freeport. I tend to see the proposed 20 widening/move it inland half a mile projects as an attempt to make Freeport a viable bedroom community and make it easy to get to both Eglin AFB proper and PCB. (Lot of it goes back to Jay Odom trying to draw people to his Hammock Bay development.)
If any of the routes of the proposed parkway do not cross the intercoastal, it wouldn't be much of a difference than the existing route.
If the parkway crossed the intercoastal, the bridge would be essential the same as the Westbay Bridge.
I would think it would cost nearly as much as adding a two lane bridge on 331 (It wouldn't be 3 miles long, Murray; just as long as the existing bridge).
You can bet that if the 331 bridge becomes a toll bridge, then 79 becomes the new gateway to the EmeraldCoast/The Beach/BeachesofSoWal.My mind tends to wander... but fortunately, it's so weak, it doesn't get very far...
07-10-2011, 01:24 PM #35
The attached handout from the June 2011 meetings on the West Bay Parkway proposal includes an evaluation matrix that shows the projected cost of the bridge options.
Last edited by Lake View Too; 07-10-2011 at 02:09 PM.My mind tends to wander... but fortunately, it's so weak, it doesn't get very far...
Kurt: I hadn't heard that any new 331 span of the bay would have to be open bridge all the way across. I haven't heard any news at all about anyone considering building a new bridge there. Last word I heard was that the private enterprise that offered to build it was turned down. What's the official latest word fom FDOT?My mind tends to wander... but fortunately, it's so weak, it doesn't get very far...
07-10-2011, 02:56 PM #39
It's also my understanding that the current 331 causeway isn't up to modern code- too low to the water, and someone's WCSO husband here has a pretty good story about it not being particularly safe when the waves really kick up pre-hurricane. (It also closes at lower wind speeds than other major bridges in the panhandle because of this) I suspect that it's not just a matter of adding a span to what's already there, they'd probably have to do a fair amount of engineering to bring the whole thing up to modern safer standards.
07-10-2011, 03:00 PM #40
The last figure I heard for widening the 331 bay bridge was $300 million. DOT is supposed to start preliminary engineering for the project late this year.
07-10-2011, 03:14 PM #41
The current 331 bridge is around 2.5 -3 miles in length. The intra-coastal is around 200 feet in width. The 331 bridge construction may be coming from Federal dollars. We'll see. I'm guessing it will look more like the connecting Panama City to Panama City Beach, but not as high, but it probably depends on costs.
From what I understand, if a new 331 bridge were to be constructed, it wound have to span the bay. they would not be able to use causeways. I think hwy 20 would be the most viable route. Once you hit it, you can head north, west or east and hit major hi-ways. Am I missing something?
Last edited by Lake View Too; 07-10-2011 at 10:05 PM.My mind tends to wander... but fortunately, it's so weak, it doesn't get very far...
07-11-2011, 06:42 AM #46
Lake view, you are correct in thinking that they won't keep one causeway while the new pretty one is the span. They will build the span, destroy the causeway, then build the second span, just like they did in PC/PCB.
Tolls will stink, especially for all those employees coming into SoWal from NoBay. Add $4/gal for gas and it could pose big problems for employers in SoWal.
What I'd love to see (being the utopian kind of guy that I am) is a completely reworked causeway/island. Much higher, much better : the crown jewel of all wayside parks, as it were. Complete with boat ramps, and (dare I say it) palm trees. Nothing would say welcome to SoWal like a mini island paradise.My mind tends to wander... but fortunately, it's so weak, it doesn't get very far...
07-11-2011, 10:11 AM #49
I am more concerned with the establishment of further evacuation routes than anything else. The Clyde Bailey bridge closes to outgoing traffic at wind of 35mph, I understand. It is really the only evacuation route available to South Walton residents that goes directly North. To me, that is one of the main reasons for development of the West Bay Parkway.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
Gee Andy I thought you were opposed to government spending.
Tolls will be insuffient for the West Bay Parkway so that means someone's tax dollars.
To quote Lennon and McCartney, do "you think the money was heaven sent?"
The buzzword is public-private partnership and we had best watch out.
See below in bold from an earlier column I wrote for the Sun.
The Long and Winding Road
In two generations, Florida skyrocketed from a predominately agricultural state to the number four slot on the US population Billboard Top Fifty. When I was born, more people lived in Alabama than hung their hats in Florida. According to the 1950 census, we were a pedestrian 20th in population. Personally, I credit air-conditioning.
Florida’s rapid growth put enormous pressure on infrastructure, particularly roads. Florida ranks below all southeastern states in the number of “lane-miles” of road per 1000 residents. To some planning for growth carries a negative connotation but failing to plan carries its own set of problems. Simply put Florida needs more roads.
On the docket for Walton County is the proposed West Bay Roadway linking the airport with South Walton. Under consideration are seven routes along with a no build option. The seven routes funnel into two places on US 98, one slightly east of Watersound Parkway, the other one more westerly.
The roadway could relieve traffic congestion on Back Beach Road and would provide an alternate evacuation route. Improved access to the airport could spur real estate development and economic growth. We have some significant obstacles-no money and a noisy contingent opposed to all government projects except their Social Security checks and Medicare. In addition, South Florida drivers face their own overcrowding issues and they outnumber us. The road will also cut through environmentally sensitive areas and impact high quality wetlands.
A few buzzwords tossed around include “public-private partnership” and “toll-roads”. When added together these two often yield municipal bonds aka debt. For the record, one of the largest municipal bond defaults in the last two years was a Greenville, South Carolina toll-road. Hailed at one time as an “innovative…public-private partnership” the “Southern Connector”, the moniker hung on it by boosters, has gone bust. Unrealistic traffic projections and overly optimistic economic expectations doomed the Connector. Closer to home, look no farther than the Garcon Point toll bridge which, baring something unforeseen, will default on their July 1, 2011 payment.
Municipal debt falls into two general categories-general obligation and revenue. With general obligation bonds, the issuer is obligated to use every bit of taxation power at their disposal to satisfy bondholders. While revenue bonds, depend solely on a defined revenue stream. The Southern Connector and the Garcon Point Bridge, like most toll-ways, used revenue bonds for financing.
Compared with their corporate cousins, municipal bonds default at much lower rates. In the last forty years, housing and hospital projects have accounted for most municipal bond defaults. With the growing reluctance of citizenry to finance infrastructure projects, we could see highway projects added to the list. As Deep Throat warned, follow the money. In 2009, the Southern Connector generated $3.9 million but $2.8 million (almost 72%) went to consultants, marketing, salaries, and legal fees. Someone came out smelling like a rose.
Road construction, while vital, is complex, challenging and expensive.
Last edited by Buz Livingston; 07-11-2011 at 11:34 AM.