For those who want to voice their opinions about the U.S. Hwy. 98 widening project, a public information meeting is on the books Jan. 10 at 5 p.m. at Village Baptist Church.
"I know there are some folks in Destin who want to know about this project," Councilman Jim Wood told The Log. "This will give you a good chance to see what this is going to look like."
The bulk of the proposed project would widen Hwy. 98 from four to six lanes from Airport Road to the Walton County line, excluding the area from Matthew Boulevard to Kel Wen Circle.
Improvements will be made to seven signalized intersections, which include a new signal at Hwy. 98 and Indian Bayou Trail; the addition of 4-foot bicycle lanes; ADA compliant sidewalks and handrails; and landscaping improvements throughout the medians.
The project is expected to "increase the vehicular capacity" of the roadway, while also addressing bicycle and pedestrian traffic, according to a press release from the Florida Department of Transportation.
While there will be no formal presentation during the meeting, maps, drawings, various project information and representatives from FDOT will be on hand to answer questions about the project, which is currently unfunded.
For more information about the Hwy. 98 widening project FDOT's general consultant Project Manager Bill Howell can be reached at 866-855-7275 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. FDOT District Three Public Information Director Ian Satter can also be contacted at 888-638-0250, extension 205 or by email at email@example.com.
As the chairman of the Okaloosa/Walton Transportation Planning Organization, Wood told The Log that the widening project was at least 10 years, if not longer, from breaking ground.
"This is still a good ways out," he said. "But we're in the planning phase, which is where you make your changes."