City to spend $750,000 on lighted crosswalks

Staff Reporter
The Destin Log

In an attempt to enhance pedestrian safety along U.S. Highway 98, city leaders have agreed to spend $750,000 for five lighted crosswalks.

As part of the Florida Department of Transportation's 3R project, the city will advance the funds to FDOT, which has committed to install the crosswalks by Memorial Day 2016.

The crosswalks would be located at: Hwy. 98/AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar, Capt. Royal Melvin Heritage Park, Melvin Street, Big Kahuna's (1/2 mile west of Airport Road) and Chic-fil-A (1/4 mile west of Airport Road).

City Manager Greg Kisela said FDOT has supported the plan, with the exception of the crosswalk at Capt. Royal Melvin Heritage Park, given the location would only be 450-500 feet away from the proposed crossing at AJ's.

The city currently has $413,000 in its 2016 budget for capital improvements, but the remaining $337,000 would be funded from the city's reserves. FDOT will refund the money to the city over the next 3-5 years.

“Hwy. 98 is one of our biggest challenges. It has posed issues our staff and council have addressed for more than a decade,” said Kisela. “Nothing is more important to this city than the well-being of our residents, businesses, and visitors, and by adding these five fully-signalized pedestrian crossings, we are making real progress toward a safer roadway environment.”