New U.S. 331 Bridge across Choctawhatchee Bay Now Open

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by SoWal Staff, May 17, 2016.

  1. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    DOT has said there will be periodic lane closures.
     
  2. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Sorry I follow speed limits and maybe 5 over.
     
  3. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    Did anyone happen to know how the traffic was today on 331? Always seemed like forever from Defuniak Springs to PC Beach Parkway.
     
  4. Easternlake lady

    Easternlake lady Beach Comber

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    We left 30a this afternoon around 12:30 headed north on 331. All four lanes were open from the bridge to Freeport and traffic was moving smoothly both ways (north and south). Once past the Freeport intersection where lanes were reduced back to two, traffic going north didn't significantly slow down, but traffic heading south was backed up. We made it to Defuniak in 40 minutes, which is about 10 minutes less than usual.
     
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  5. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    I think Defuniak is a good 30-40 minute trip..guess we don't drive speed limit +5
    LOL
     
  6. sunny850

    sunny850 Beach Lover

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    I drove from 30A to defuniak this morning at 8:30. Not only did traffic start moving once I crossed the bridge, it started moving very fast! There was quite a bit of traffic (Saturday checkouts) and I was surrounded by cars so I was going with the flow and realized we were going about 72 mph. I slowed down but cars were flying past me. They are going to have to do something about speed through there as there are too many side roads, businesses, and residences entering and exiting 331 for that kind of speed. There was one police car sitting in the median but his lights weren't on and the cars slowed to about 55 just long enough to get past him, then sped back up. Once we got to,Freeport and went to 2 lanes it slowed to a normal speed again, thankfully.
     
  7. North Lake

    North Lake Beach Lover

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    I made a quick unplanned emergency trip to DFS yesterday (check-out day) leaving Seagrove about 1:00 pm. As a local, I do know better than to get on 331 on check-out day, but it couldn't be avoided. Made it up there in record time just doing the speed limit because of the 4-lane opening, and even up the stretch from Freeport to DFS. Honestly, I haven't made the trip as quickly since the 1970's. My journey took me from DFS to VPS (on US 90 and SR 285 since I-10 is also a zoo), then back across SR 20 to Freeport to come back home on the last stretch of 331 about 4:00 pm. Thought all would be well since it seemed to be moving smoothly when I went north on the first leg and the check-in crowd was already making their way southward. Made good time (again at the legal speed limit) from Freeport to about 3280. At 3280, it was backed up....bumper to bumper with horns honking in both lanes. Haven't seen such a mess since the early 80's when I lived in the DC area and commuted into Washington every day and back home 60 miles south of DC in northern Virginia. The problem turned out to be (as I suspected) the merge into two-lane traffic just before the relief bridge. As I experienced in DC commute traffic, everybody rushes to the choke point, then doesn't want to let the other lane merge -- like the beach is going to dry up before they get there. Having been to the rodeo before in DC, I just stayed in my lane until about Putnal's, then started nudging gently across with my turn signal going well before making my move. Cut off some lady in a small brown SUV with Tennessee plates when I was able to get enough of the truck over into the single lane --- she wasn't happy for some reason. All she had to do was avoid hitting the car in front of her and let me in. I returned her one-finger salute with a cheerful wave. I was able to wave cheerfully at her again when we were sitting side by side at the 331/98 traffic light - much to my amusement, but clearly not hers. I know all this will go away when both bridges are open and the four-laning is completed all the way to DFS, so not too concerned. It was as I said,an unplanned emergency trip. I do hope she has a great week at the beach, but frankly I wish she'd have just stayed in Tennessee.
     
  8. Beauford

    Beauford Beach Lover

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    You know things are bad when someone passes you in Grayton Beach. Happened to me about ten years ago I kid you not.

    Craziest thing I've seen this year is a motorcycle pass me on 98 and then pass in between 2 pickup trucks in front of me.
     
  9. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    Unfortunately people from Tennessee won't be staying away from there and staying home, my husband and myself included but we don't go 331 anymore. Haven't in several years, too much of a nightmare. Only reason we did before was when we stayed in Inlet Beach all those years. We've come a different way for several years now, Alabama SR 167/Florida SR 79 since we stay right off SR 79 in PC Beach, it goes right into the parking lot of where we stay.
     
  10. North Lake

    North Lake Beach Lover

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    Please don't misunderstand my post. I love folks from Tennessee. I have many friends who live there, and I started my college career at a small liberal arts college up in northern Tennessee up by the Cumberland Gap/tri-states area way, way back in the day. I could have said Michigan, Texas, Georgia, or any other place about the driver I interacted with....but this particular driver had Tennessee plates. I try to be sensitive to the fact that most of our in-bound guests have been on the road all day, and are ready to get to their accommodations and relax. Therefore, I normally just stay off the road (particularly 331) on check-out/check-in day to not add to the fray. My trip was unplanned and emergent enough to get me on the road. My comments were more geared to my thought that folks should just relax, be patient, be a nice driver, and let folks merge when the lanes merge. One really won't get there any sooner by doing otherwise. I think this will all soon be over when the road construction is complete and folks can zoom down unimpeded by roadwork and closed lanes, We just have to be patient and let things play out.
     
  11. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    We fuss about some of the others driving ourselves coming in 331 when we used to go that way. It's hateful when there is a train and no one will make an attempt to pass when they have the opportunity. Slows everyone down.
     
  12. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    We came across the most wonderful traffic law last month in Washington state- there are designated pull out areas on major two lane roadways. If you are holding up traffic so that there's a train of five or more cars behind you, you must pull into the turnout to allow them to pass. Seems to balance the needs and abilities of many different motorists and their vehicles out with a pretty minimal additional road cost in most cases.
     
  13. North Lake

    North Lake Beach Lover

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    Don't know about a law requiring use of them, but Alabama and South Carolina also have these kind of turn-outs. Alas, we don't have them here.
     
  14. North Lake

    North Lake Beach Lover

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    I make it a point to not try and pass on 331 nowadays - at least for the past two years. One won't get there any faster, or any slower, than just staying in line and going with the flow down the road. Inevitably, we all end up meeting at the 331/98 traffic light. I do the legal speed limit as I go so's not to slow things down -- but the beach isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Getting there before the car in front of me is not a goal I aspire to in my old age and 50 years of driving that road. Arriving alive with no dings on the car is a goal that I can get behind. There's no safe place to pass on 331 right now.
     
  15. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    You're right. The beach isn't going anywhere. That's for sure. But somehow I don't think all of these people are going the speed limit. Oh well, doesn't affect us anymore.
     

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