Okaloosa County approves contract for final phase of PJ Adams Parkway work

Tony Judnich
Northwest Florida Daily News

CRESTVIEW — The contractor responsible for widening the first three phases of PJ Adams Parkway to four lanes has been awarded the job of widening the fourth and final segment of the ongoing project.

In August 2019, the county hired C.W. Roberts Contracting of Freeport to widen and make other upgrades to the parkway between State Road 85 and Wild Horse Drive at a cost of $14.9 million.

On Tuesday, the Okaloosa County Commission unanimously approved paying the company a little more than $5 million to widen the parkway between Wild Horse Drive and Crab Apple Avenue and relocate city of Crestview utilities along the route. The city will reimburse the county the almost $1.2 million cost of the relocation work.

Road crews work on the first phase of the southwest Crestview bypass, which includes the widening of PJ Adams Parkway. Okaloosa County on Monday will hold a groundbreaking for the second phase of the project, which includes a north-south stretch of road between Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 90.

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By awarding this last segment of the widening project to C.W. Roberts versus putting it out to bid, the county will save money along with about nine months of project time, county Public Works Director Jason Autrey told commissioners.

This last segment could be completed in April 2023. It will connect with a new Interstate 10 interchange that the Florida Department of Transportation plans to build east of the existing overpass at Antioch Road.

Work on the interchange might start about a year from now, according to Autrey.

The widened PJ Adams Parkway will be a major part of the future southwest Crestview bypass, which is anticipated to improve traffic flow in and around the city.

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In a separate but connected, earlier-awarded project, Marianna-based Anderson Columbia Co. will be paid almost $44 million to build the four-lane north-south segment of the bypass, from the new I-10 interchange north to U.S. Highway 90 at its connection with Enzor Road, and to build the “east-west connector” road.

The two-lane connector will run about 1.3 miles north of I-10 and between the Arena Road section of the bypass and Physicians Drive. Physicians Drive currently connects to SR 85 via West Redstone Avenue.

Autrey anticipates a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of the bypass north of I-10 to occur in mid- to late June.

While the completion time for the new interchange has not been finalized, the work on the bypass and connector north of it could be completed sometime in 2024, Autrey said.

The overall cost of the southwest Crestview bypass project, including construction, design costs, right-of-way acquisitions, utility relocations and other expenses, totals about $200 million.

The overall project is being paid for with federal, state and local funds, including settlement money from the 2010 BP oil spill and county and city of Crestview half-cent sales tax revenue.