Transportation Projects Upcoming This Fall Along CR-30A and U.S. 98

A NUMBER OF transportation projects are on tap for the fall on CR-30A. The Walton County Board of County Commissioners got an update on these projects on June 20. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

By DOTTY NIST 

          A number of county transportation projects are coming up along CR-30A this fall, according to a recent report to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC).

          Chance Powell, transportation engineer for Walton County Public Works, provided an update on these projects at the June 20 BCC regular meeting at the Walton County Courthouse. In response to questions from the commissioners, Powell also spoke about upcoming projects along U.S. 98, with the majority of the latter work to be undertaken by the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

          Powell told the commissioners that resurfacing projects are planned for CR-30A from CR-83 in Blue Mountain Beach to CR-395 in Seagrove and from the Prominence area to the east end of CR-30A, the intersection of the county road with U.S. 98.

          The new bridge on Big Redfish Lake, he continued, is scheduled for construction in the fall. This will be a bridge to replace culverts on CR-30A, to restore the Big Redfish Lake’s natural hydrology. This $603,450 project is funded through a Florida Division of Emergency Management Hazard Mitigation grant.

          Powell told the commissioners that the planned CR-395/CR-30A intersection improvement project in Seagrove has been divided into two segments, with the work on CR-395 and the turn lane onto CR-30A planned for construction in the fall of this year and the improvements on CR-30A planned for fall 2018.

          Currently the intersection is a three-way stop with blinking light. As approved by the BCC in February 2016, the blinking light is to be replaced with a green-yellow-red traffic light, with a median to be constructed along CR-395 approaching the intersection. The plans include a left turn lane for eastbound traffic on CR-30A to CR-395, a right turn lane for westbound traffic on CR- 30A to CR-395, and dedicated left and right turn lanes for southbound traffic on CR-395 to CR-30A. All turn lanes are to be signalized for efficient operation, and the multi-use path crossing the intersection along the north side of CR-30A is to be coordinated with the traffic signal for push-button operation of pedestrian signal crossings.

          Powell said that all regulatory sign u-channel (standard road sign) posts along CR-30A would be replaced in the fall and that staff would ensure that these signs meet standards for retroreflectivity.

          He said that work was planned for the fall on the south side of CR-30A at Oyster Lake but that it should not have much effect on the traveling public. This is in connection with improvements to the lake outfall.

          Powell also explained that the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) anticipates having the complete reconstruction of the CR-30A multi-use path completed in the fall between Blue Mountain Beach and Grayton Beach, with replacement of all wood bridges and bridge approaches along that section of the path at Draper Lake, Eastern Lake, Deer Lake, and possibly Big Redfish Lake as well.

          Powell answered questions from the commissioners about projects along U.S. 98, the first of those being the ongoing project to add a protected left turn signal for northbound and southbound approaches to the U.S. 98/CR-393 intersection. He said the contractor had been delayed in obtaining a control cabinet for the signal project but that the cabinet was expected to arrive any day.

          Powell noted that DOT had indicated the morning of the meeting that turn lanes would be under construction within a couple of weeks at the U.S. 98 and Sugar Drive intersection.

          In response to a question from District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman, Powell said DOT had recently updated its intersection traffic study done a number of years ago on the U.S. 98/CR-283 intersection. The resulting recommendation, he said, was for a 185-foot-long southbound right turn lane on Bay Drive in order for protected left turns to be provided at the intersection. Since the turn lane on Bay Drive would be constructed on a county road, Walton County would be responsible for arranging for funding, Powell explained. He said staff had been looking at opportunities for this funding through a joint participation agreement with the state.

          BCC Chair Cecilia Jones urged for businesses that might be affected by the upcoming transportation projects to be notified in advance of the work. Powell assured her that information would be provided to the businesses. “There’ll be a lot of that,” he said.

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