The Florida Department of Transportation held a presentation at Warriors Hall in Crestview on Thursday evening to discuss possible improvements to State Road 85.
CRESTVIEW — The Florida Department of Transportation held a presentation Thursday evening to discuss possible improvements along State Road 85.
The purpose of the 11-mile project extending from north of State Road 123 to Hospital Drive includes resurfacing travel lanes, ramp access upgrades at Interstate 10, turn lane modifications, new median modifications and sidewalk construction on the west side of the road.
According to FDOT spokeswoman Tanya Branton, the approximately $21.4 million project will be funded solely by the department and will focus on easing traffic congestion and improving safety for motorists and pedestrians.
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"We realize that it is a heavily congested area and traffic congestion is a concern," Branton said. "This will help alleviate some of the congestion."
The project will focus on five major intersections along SR 85: Antioch Road, John King Road, Mirage Avenue, Cracker Barrel Drive and Southcrest Drive.
A sidewalk also will be laid on the west side of SR 85 from PJ Adams Parkway to Mirage Avenue.
"Anytime we do a resurfacing project we look at pedestrian safety or any kind of features needed," Branton said. "That is where we come into play with the addition of a sidewalk."
An eastbound right turn lane will be added at Antioch Road. The southbound right turn lane at Mirage Avenue will be extended and a second left turn lane onto SR 85 from John King Road will be added.
Another major job will be to change the median at Cracker Barrel Drive and Southcrest Drive from a full open median to a directional median, which means motorists will no longer be able to cross the road at the median.
"All of this will be a positive thing for the area," Branton said. "It brings in potential businesses, which is a positive thing with these improvements, so there is an economic growth opportunity."
The design phase for the project began earlier this year and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. Bids for construction will be received in winter of 2021.
For more information on the project, contact FDOT project manager Jordan Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org