The initial segment of the first phase of the Mid-Bay Bridge connector (Toll Florida 293) opened to traffic on May 12 from the existing toll plaza at the north end of the Choctawhatchee Bay bridge to Florida 20. The second portion of Phase I will open later this summer and will dump local traffic onto Range Road east of Niceville. The following photos were taken May 13 by AARoads.
Toll Florida 293 north (from U.S. 98 to Florida 20):
This diamond interchange was constructed for motorist wishing to gain access to White Point Road and the nearby subdivisions lying to the west of the new limited access highway. Heading south along Lakeshore Drive takes you to a small subdivision along the northern shores of Pippin Lake.
The remaining segment of Phase I will open Florida 293 up to Range Road later this summer. It is not currently known whether the new toll facility will have exit numbers at its interchanges or not.
From this particular intersection, motorists can access the interstate either by heading west into Niceville and taking either Florida 285 or Florida 85. Heading east on Florida 20 will take motorists to Freeport where motorists can take U.S. 331 north to reach the interstate near Defuniak Springs. Also note the use of state-named shields for Interstate 10, a rarity in the state.
Florida 293 south (between Florida 20 and Lakeshore Drive):
Florida 293 scenes: