CRESTVIEW — One of two county road projects to begin in 2015 and 2016 will benefit the Crestview area, according to Okaloosa/Walton Transportation Planning Organization members.
Three segments of a five-part project to four-lane P.J. Adams Parkway from State Road 85 to Wild Horse Drive are planned for fiscal years 2016-17. Construction could begin in fall 2016 or spring 2017.
A fourth segment will widen P.J. Adams from Wild Horse to the Interstate 10 overpass in 2017. The final segment, to widen I-10 to U.S. Highway 90, does not yet appear on the TPO's projects schedule.
"This is real," county engineer Jason Autrey said during a Tuesday meeting after several north county residents expressed frustration with the perception that most road improvements benefit South Okaloosa County.
South county business owners should support completing the P.J. Adams-Antioch Road corridor widening, Baker resident Charles Wachtel said.
"All those people that are supporting the tourism down south gotta go through this little two-lane road," he said. "Let's get them through there faster."
The regional long-term transportation plan includes replacing Brooks Bridge in Fort Walton Beach next year. In Walton County, widening U.S. Highway 331 from I-10 north to the Alabama state line will start this year.
Widening U.S. Highway 98 through Destin and Santa Rosa Beach is scheduled to begin in 2024, but TPO regional planner Christie Johnson said projects move faster with additional funding.
Starting work on a bypass around the city's congested heart can't start soon enough, Crestview resident Mae Retha Coleman said.
"I'm tired of the talk," she said. "Let's walk the walk. I'd like to see some progress."