New street signs coming soon

Savannah Vasquez
The intersection at U.S. Hwy. 98 and S.R. 293 is just one of the problematic areas in Destin. While the sign shows S.R. 293, there is no sign for Hutchinson Street.

In February, the city of Destin began looking at a problem with unidentified street signs and signs in disrepair along U.S. Hwy. 98. Four intersections heading east and three heading west along this major thoroughfare were reviewed and are still in need of attention.

The streets include the eastbound intersection of Gulf Shore Drive, Airport Road’s southbound mast arm, Scenic Hwy 98 at the eastbound intersection, Henderson Beach Road’s southbound mast arm and Triumph Drive’s east and westbound mast arm.

“Basically, the county is going to be doing some maintenance work which will entail putting the correct mast arm signs up in the six locations,” said Destin's Community Development Director Ken Gallander. “We had requested that they do that before the heavy summer season, but have not heard back on where it is on their task list.”

Gallander said that with county roads running through the city it is common practice for the county crews and even the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to contribute funds to maintaining the roads.

Okaloosa County Public Information Officer Kathy Newby said the new signs are ready to be put up pending a few pieces of equipment.

“As soon as the shipment comes in with the hardware for hanging them we will put them up,” she said. “We are trying to get them up as soon as possible due to tourist season.”

Gallander added that the city is now working on plans to further improve the street signs along Hwy 98.

“The bigger picture is that we are looking at doing upgraded mast arm signage,” he said. “We are looking at getting internally back-lit street name signs that light up from behind and are much easier to see.”

The city is currently preparing a proposal for the project to be presented to the city council as well as the FDOT at a later date.