West Bay Parkway - [Update: Preferred Route Chosen]

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by GoodWitch58, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Their website is stil showing the green route. Any word on why it was eliminated?

    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: Jun 24, 2011
  2. soappedaler

    soappedaler Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  3. passin thru

    passin thru Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  4. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Interesting also that option 1 is the existing roadway, 98 to 79. Which I guess is the no-build option but I'm curious if changes would be made to existing roadways.

    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...
     
  5. soappedaler

    soappedaler Beach Fanatic

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    The date is correct next meeting Fall of 2012, FDOT isn't known for it's swiftness.
     
  6. florida girl

    florida girl Beach Fanatic

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    Build AFTER Hwy 331 is 4-laned!
     
  7. whatiscmr

    whatiscmr Beach Lover

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    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.


    http://westbayparkway.com/
     
  8. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Threads merged.

    We do need 331 4-laned. One of the proposed routes for the new parkway would take it north from 98 over the intracoastal to HWY 79 north of Panama City Beach. This would definitely help evacuation.
     
  9. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    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.
     
  10. Em

    Em Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  11. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    That's what I've always assumed.

    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. :lol:
     
  12. Em

    Em Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  13. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    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.)
     
  14. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    I haven't heard that there was much motion on four-laning the 331 bridge, lately.
    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.
     
  15. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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  16. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    Thanks, Miz. According to the matrix, the cost of any bridge would be about $60million. Does anybody know the cost of four-laning the 331 bridge/causeway? My point is that I think this Parkway is not only totally unecessary, but could be very anti-productive to solving the most major infrastructure problem in Walton County.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  17. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    The section north of Owl's Head is about to start - it is being done in stages.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/4-Lane-Hwy-331/157049364366817

    True - until it is 6-laned.

    The new 331 bridge section has to be all elevated like the Mid-Bay bridge. I believe the existing section has to be redone that way also.


    I doubt it. Folks will pay a few bucks to save 30 minutes or more to get to paradise, or back home for that matter.
     
  18. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    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?
     
  19. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     
  20. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    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.
     

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