The Florida Department of Transportation held two open forums on Sept. 20 and 22 to get public feedback on the U.S. Highway 98 expansion project that will run through south Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.
More than 50 people turned up the first day to get a glimpse of the plan and to give comments on how the project would affect their lives as part of the Project Development and Environmental study phase.
FDOT Public Information Specialist Tanya Branton explained this is the first step in a multiyear process.
“The Department will be investigating the widening of the existing facility from four to six lanes, making intersection improvements, improving safety along the corridor with access management modifications, and providing multi-modal opportunities,” she said. “The project was identified as a priority by the FL-Alabama and Okaloosa-Walton [Transportation Planning Organization] in their Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). Thus, it was placed in to the department’s Five-Year Work Program. Future phases, including design, [right of way] acquisition and construction have not been funded at this time.”
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