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Beach Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
off the beach
Resurfacing and widening of Bay Loop Road (County Road 83A) in Freeport has been scheduled for this fiscal year and design plans are being sought for "The Bay Loop Bike Path."
Nearly $1.5 million will be funded through Florida?s Small County Outreach Program for Bay Loop Road improvements.
"It is needed with all the development going on there. There is a tremendous increase in traffic," County Commissioner Scott Brannon said.
The work will be done through a Joint Participation Agreement with Walton County. That means the county will pay initially then be reimbursed by the state.
The project will be done "in-house" and is scheduled to follow the Beach Highlands paving project, Walton County Director of Finance Bill Imfeld said.
"Work will start in September," Nick Nickeloff, senior planner of West Florida Regional Planning, Transportation Department confirmed.
According to plans accepted by county commissioners at the March 22 meeting, under the JPA, FDOT allows $75,000 per lane mile for widening and resurfacing.
"It will cost a lot less than if we drove the road into the ground then had to rehabilitate it," Brannon said.
The separate but parallel project, to put in a bike path, is in the bidding stages for design.
"It is a unique roadway, how it loops and is on the water," Brannon said. "It is good for a bike path."
The greenway/bicycle/ pedestrian trail is a Community Budget Issue Request totaling more than $3 million. It will also include storm water drainage improvements and paving Red Barn Road and Earl Godwin Road.
The Bay Loop Bike Path is a component of separate legislative appropriations that have not yet been granted by the state.
"It is in the works, but has not yet been approved," Imfeld said.
Brannon said after Florida Association of Counties Legislative Day in Tallahassee on March 30 that the piece of legislature for the Bay Loop Bike Path "looks like it is pretty healthy."
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