The majority of the heavy construction on Kelly Street near the Destin Elementary School is expected to be completed by the time school starts next week, according to city officials.

The Kelly Street improvements are part of several drainage projects designed to decrease flooding in certain Destin neighborhoods and improve the quality of stormwater that feeds into the local waterways.

In 2015, the city was awarded a nearly $3.6 million grant for restoration and conservation projects through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Six projects sites were set with most of the improvements planned around Indian Bayou, Joe’s Bayou and the Destin harbor.

“The Kelly Street improvements are part of the second, third and fourth phases of the six-phase project,” said Doug Rainer, the city’s spokesperson. “The first phase first took place in Indian Bayou and was completed late this spring.”

The Kelly Street drainage project, which cost $788,797, started in late June and is expected to be completed in mid- to late-October.

"The majority of the heavy construction near the elementary school will be complete by the time school starts on Aug. 10," Rainer said.

Rainer said the city had a narrow window of time after school was out to do the major construction and there were also unforeseen utility conflicts that caused delays, which is why there is still so much construction going on this close to the start of the new school year.

“City staff and the contractor have coordinated closely with school personnel on this project. Traffic flow should operate as normal and access to parking will be open,” Rainer said.

Destin Elementary School Principal Al Gardner said the front of the school and the parking lot will not be paved yet, but it will be safe for people to drive on and park.

“I want to let parents know not to expect to drop-off or pick-up their children in the front of the school, instead use the car rider lane,” he said. “If it takes parents longer to unload their kids, we wont count them as tardy because it’s not their fault.”