SHALIMAR — Construction of the Okaloosa County-led PJ Adams Parkway widening project in Crestview might get started by late this summer and be completed in about three years.
That’s according to county Public Works Director Jason Autrey, who on Tuesday updated the County Commission on the project.
The two-lane parkway will be widened to four lanes. It’s expected to help relieve traffic congestion on State Road 85 and be a major part of the planned southwest Crestview bypass.
Commissioners on Tuesday approved accepting an agreement that will lead to the county receiving $3.8 million from the Federal Highway Administration for phase three of the project. The phase will extend between Ashley and Wild Horse drives.
The county’s total amount of federal funding for the widening project is now almost $7.5 million, none of which requires local matching dollars.
The right-of-way acquisition and design and construction costs for the overall project could cost a total of about $30 million. In addition to federal money, county officials plan to use local half-cent sales tax funds and state grant money to pay for those expenses.
“We are ready to go to construction as soon as (the Florida Department of Transportation) gives us the nod” to proceed, Autrey told commissioners.
The fourth and final phase of the work will extend from Wild Horse Drive to the FDOT’s planned Interstate 10 interchange at Antioch Road. The county will widen the final section either before or in conjunction with construction of the interchange, Autrey said after the meeting.
Like the wider PJ Adams, the interchange will be a major segment of the planned southwest bypass project.
Plans for the estimated $200 million bypass also include a new road from I-10 north to U.S. Highway 90 and a new road between Antioch Road and SR 85 north of the interstate. Design work on the overall bypass is expected to take several more years.
The county has applied for $64.1 million from the Triumph Gulf Coast board to help pay for the bypass. Other funding sources include half-cent sales tax revenue received by the county and the city of Crestview, as well as state and federal money.
The county staff plans to make a presentation on the bypass to the Triumph board April 29. One of the topics to be presented includes the importance of having adequate infrastructure in place for the economic powerhouse of Eglin Air Force Base.
The bypass would be “a gain to the entire county,” Commission Chairman Kelly Windes said during Tuesday’s meeting.