CRESTVIEW — A "safety-improvement project" for P.J. Adams Parkway will begin to address the road's notorious congestion sooner than expected, Okaloosa County Public Works officials have announced.
However, it is not the road's anticipated four-laning project that may not even be funded until 2030, Public Works Director John Hofstad said.
"The state has a safety-improvement project on their docket now. They'll do some shoulder work, some striping work, some widening in some sections to include a left-turn lane. It only runs from where we completed the four-laning at (State Road) 85 and terminates at Ashley (Drive)," he said.
The project should begin in 2015, Hofstad said.
Re-striping of P.J. Adams will continue to Antioch Road and on to U.S. Highway 90, but adding turn lanes or widening the stretch of road is not included in the project at this time, Hofstad said.
The growth of neighborhood communities off the P.J. Adams-Antioch Road corridor has led to increased traffic during morning and evening rush hours. Countryview Estates residents have complained that relentless flow of evening rush-hour traffic west on P.J. Adams makes them virtual prisoners of their own neighborhood.
The state's allocation of funds for the safety improvements came as a surprise when county engineer Jason Autrey learned about it last week, Hofstad said.
"If the state's going to manage local projects, you'd think they'd let us know about it, but we're not going to turn our backs on it," Hofstad said.
A study on widening the P.J. Adams-Antioch Road corridor to four lanes and making it an anticipated bypass around Crestview's southwest quarter concluded last summer, but funding for that project is not expected until 2030 at the earliest, state officials have said.
Hofstad said his department hopes to accomplish some of the bypass project components in intervals as financing becomes available.
The recently announced safety improvement project is a first step.
"There are some dollars available," he said. "It's not going to be four-laning and it's not for a couple years — but at least it's something."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.