Record road spending approved for Northwest Florida

Published: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 09:41 AM.

It’s been a long time coming, Gaetz said.

“Those of us who live in this community have been grinding our teeth for some time,” he said. “Right or wrong, we’ve had the perception that we haven’t got our fair share.”

Gaetz was named Senate president in November, which may have helped him direct the money to the region. He said DOT officials pay more attention to him now.

The SR 123 and SR 87 projects were already in the DOT pipeline, but until Thursday’s agreement funding hadn’t been assured, Gaetz said.

“They were in the thinking stage,” he said after the meeting. “But now we have a commitment for funding, a commitment that they will be built and an aggressive upgraded timeline.”

The SR 123 expansion and improvement project had been planned for 2018 if funds could be secured. The project is now slated to begin in 2015 with $20.6 million set aside for it, Gaetz said.

He said keeping traffic moving between the north and south parts of Okaloosa County has been an increasing priority, especially since the arrival of the Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) south of Crestview.

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