DESTIN — The fate of the city’s “crosstown connector” is expected to be decided by the City Council on Monday.
The project has been long-planned to provide an alternate east-west route north of busy U.S. Highway 98. The completed connector would use mostly existing roads and stretch for more than five miles between Stahlman Avenue and Danny Wuerffel Way.
But after citing various concerns, such as many residents’ fears that the completed connector would mean wider roads and more traffic in their neighborhoods, a majority of the council agreed in May to have staff take no further action on the project.
More recently, the council directed the staff to pursue the viability of keeping the connector segment between Main Street and Stahlman Avenue a two-lane route without jeopardizing any funding for the overall project.
After more discussion at a council workshop last week, staff plans to present several options for the council members to consider at their upcoming meeting at 6 p.m. at the City Hall Annex.
The council could move forward with completing the connector’s final segment, a 0.4-mile section that would have to be built between Beach and Benning drives. Or it could stop the overall project, take no action or come up with another alternative.
According to a proposed resolution up for consideration, a two-lane portion of the connector between Main Street and Stahlman Avenue is “the only acceptable alternative” and “no expansion to a four-lane facility is desired.”
Limiting that stretch to two lanes “should not negatively impact" the money that the Florida Department of Transportation and Okaloosa County have committed to the Beach-to-Benning part of the project, City Manager Lance Johnson said in a memo to the council.
The FDOT has agreed to provide $2.7 million for additional right of way acquisitions for the Beach-to-Benning segment, and the county has agreed to provide $4.8 million in bed tax money to pay for construction.