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Author Topic: Northwest Florida Road News  (Read 136798 times)

Alex

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #75 on: April 30, 2011, 01:06:11 PM »

Two stretches of State Road 85 get needed speed limit increases through the Fort Walton Beach area...

Eglin Parkway to get speed limit increased

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FORT WALTON BEACH — Rarely is a road’s speed limit increased, but it does happen.

The Florida Department of Transportation has announced that the speed limit on two stretches of Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach will increase from the existing 30 mph.

“It is very seldom that we actually increase,” said DOT district spokesman Tommie Speights. “Normally, we are decreasing the actual speed limit.”

The speed limit from First Street north to Yacht Club Drive will increase from 30 mph to 35 mph. The speed limit from Yacht Club north to just south of Monahan Drive will increase from 30 to 40 mph. Signs displaying the new speeds will be posted soon.

Speights said that for a road’s speed limit to change there must be a request from a local government or residents.

A study then must be conducted to prove that the change of speed is necessary if more than 85 percent of the motorists are traveling at the increased rate.

“The study would probably consist of how much congestion is in the area and how many traffic fatalities, wrecks or tickets have been issued in the area,” Speights said.

The biggest factor in changing a speed limit is how fast most drivers are going.

“The biggest reason is to make the area more uniformed in its speeds,” he said. “The increase will make the streets uniformed with the surrounding streets.”

flaroads

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #76 on: April 30, 2011, 03:51:27 PM »

Good. I hate that 30 MPH speed limit anyway. I never go it, even in the City truck!
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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #77 on: April 30, 2011, 10:35:58 PM »

Good. I hate that 30 MPH speed limit anyway. I never go it, even in the City truck!
Yeah, in Okaloosa County the only people that do the speed limit are the aholes in the left lane!
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Alex

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First section of Mid-Bay Bridge connector to open Thursday

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NICEVILLE — Motorists who travel the Mid-Bay Bridge are in for major changes this week.

A section of the first phase of the Mid-Bay Bridge Connector will open to traffic at 9 p.m. Thursday. The Mid-Bay Bridge Authority will mark its completion in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that morning.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Bridge Authority board member Jimmy Nielson. “Phase one has gone exceptionally well.”

The 1.5-mile stretch of road, which cost $24 million to build, will connect the north end of the bridge to State Road 20.

“People will be able to go from point A, the toll booth, to (State Road) 20 direct,” Nielson said.

The initial portion of the connector will allow motorists to bypass White Point Road.

“White Point Road will revert back to a residential county road,” said Jim Vest, the Bridge Authority’s executive director. “It’s going to relieve all that congestion.”

Bridge Authority members say the new configuration also will provide a better evacuation route in case of a hurricane.

“What it’s going to do is make a good, even flow of traffic,” Nielson said.

The entire first phase, which ultimately will connect to Range Road, is scheduled to be completed in early July, Vest said.

The second phase of the project will stretch about 5.6 miles from Range Road to State Road 285. The third and final phase will run about 2.5 miles from SR 285 to State Road 85 north of College Boulevard. It should be completed by 2014.

The entire project is expected to cost about $174 million.

Vest said the Bridge Authority wanted to open the first section of the connector well before the end of May to get locals accustomed to the new route before tourism increases.

“We always get a big influx on Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “It’s going to be a different traffic pattern, that’s for sure.”

On Friday, toll booth operators began passing out leaflets on the changes to drivers in the cash lanes, Vest said.

At 9 p.m. Thursday, access to the Mid-Bay Bridge from White Point Road will be closed. Residents along White Point will be able to access the connector at the North Lakeshore Drive interchange.

In case you were wondering what they are building, here is a map I made for the Niceville bypass:



Note that the northern portion of the toll road is planned as a super two. An at-grade intersection with Forest Road is also slated to provide local access to the road from residential areas of northeast Niceville.

Alex

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #79 on: May 12, 2011, 10:11:41 PM »

First stretch of Mid-Bay Bridge Connector opens

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NICEVILLE — The first phase of the Mid-Bay Bridge Connector is now open.

Motorists began using the new 1.5-mile stretch of road between the north end of the Mid-Bay Bridge and State Road 20 at 9 p.m. Thursday.

The project, which cost about $24 million, will allow traffic to bypass White Point Road when using the bridge.

“It’s going to reduce that congestion we’re seeing in the residential area,” said Okaloosa County Public Works Director John Hofstad. “It’s going to be safer for those subdivisions.”

Local and state officials celebrated the opening of the connector with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.

Gordon Fornell, chairman of the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority, told a crowd of nearly 100 people that the new road will be “a most viable and valuable hurricane evacuation route.”

He added that the project has provided local jobs during a slow economy and serves as a “win-win” for the entire area.

Jimmy Rodgers, district director of transportation operations for the Florida Department of Transportation, said the new route not only improves the county’s infrastructure but serves as an “engine of economic rebirth.”

He praised the Bridge Authority and county officials for forming an effective partnership with Eglin Air Force Base, which granted the easements where the road was built.

“This project is a great example to the rest of the region,” Rodgers said. “We are committed to projects like this that help revitalize Northwest Florida.”

 After the ceremony, dignitaries and visitors were invited to drive along the new road. Jim Vest, executive director of the Bridge Authority, led the procession with Walt Spence, a former panel member credited with having the idea for the new road, in his yellow 1968 Cadillac convertible.

The entire first phase of the connector, which eventually will stretch to Range Road, is scheduled to be completed in early July.

The second phase of the project will stretch about 5.6 miles from Range Road to State Road 285. The third and final phase will run about 2.5 miles from SR 285 to State Road 85 north of College Boulevard. It should be completed by 2014.

The entire project is expected to cost about $174 million.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2011, 10:51:49 PM »

Why not continue the highway west to 123 and/or continue the highway south to near the south College/85 jct?
I mean as long as we're building a new highway, let's look ahead and plan for the future a little. It's a pretty safe bet that this area will continue grow so let's get it done now!
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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2011, 10:56:49 PM »

Any further extension would be through the base (as are the current phases), so there's really no hurry in getting the land.

Or, if you want to be cynical, making it too easy to get from Niceville to Fort Walton Beach will hurt bridge revenue :)
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Alex

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #82 on: May 25, 2011, 10:21:19 AM »

Why not continue the highway west to 123 and/or continue the highway south to near the south College/85 jct?
I mean as long as we're building a new highway, let's look ahead and plan for the future a little. It's a pretty safe bet that this area will continue grow so let's get it done now!

It is planned to wrap around Valparaiso to the southwest. Further west a toll road is touted (probably after we are all long gone) from State Road 189 west to State Road 87 north of Holley.

More info:
http://www.nwftca.com/
http://www.aaroads.com/blog/2008/08/05/the-future-of-northwest-florida/

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #83 on: May 25, 2011, 10:27:45 AM »

Plan for $417K roundabout has heads turning

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...a $417,000 project for a roundabout on Bayfront Parkway at Ninth Avenue in downtown Pensacola.

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"He wants to make Bayfront and Ninth Avenue, the gateway to the Historic District, as inviting and pedestrian-friendly as possible," Peterson said. "Roundabouts provide ways to calm traffic flow and provide a more aesthetically inviting entrance to a rapidly developing area of downtown."

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #84 on: June 05, 2011, 09:52:21 PM »

Florida 85 at Duke Field to get a new flyover by 2013

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The project is estimated to cost $10 million and take about a year and a half to complete, according to Hecock. The overpass is expected to be open in 2013.

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The project would include construction of an elevated road at the entrance to Duke Field that would cross over State 85. The restricted roadway, dubbed Special Forces Way, would allow military personnel and equipment to cross State 85 without impeding traffic on the main north-south artery.
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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #85 on: June 06, 2011, 11:10:53 PM »

Why not continue the highway west to 123 and/or continue the highway south to near the south College/85 jct?
I mean as long as we're building a new highway, let's look ahead and plan for the future a little. It's a pretty safe bet that this area will continue grow so let's get it done now!

It is planned to wrap around Valparaiso to the southwest. Further west a toll road is touted (probably after we are all long gone) from State Road 189 west to State Road 87 north of Holley.


That is an interesting site, especially with the Okaloosa CR 393 connector to I-10, plus the widening of it to 6-lanes. Along with the various routes that are supposed to cut travel times along Coastal Franklin County and Bay County, and the bridge connecting Pensacola Airport to SR 281(!)
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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #86 on: June 12, 2011, 11:59:50 AM »

Resurfacing work on U.S. 98 to begin Saturday night

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FLOROSA — Resurfacing work will begin tonight on a nearly five-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 98 from the Santa Rosa County line to Josie Road west of Hurlburt Field, the state Department of Transportation has announced.

Crews will work from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day for the next several months. Motorists should anticipate lane closures and travel delays during those times, according to a news release from the DOT.

Access to businesses, homes and other private property along U.S. 98 will be open during the construction, the release said.

The resurfacing work is part of a $4.7 million project that includes drainage improvements, new guardrails, traffic signal timing loops and pavement markings and signs.

At a public meeting March 29 to answer questions about the project, officials said they realized it will coincide with increased tourism traffic, but were confident overnight work will minimize most of the congestion.

“We’ll keep our eye on it,” Bill Klepac, a senior project engineer with Genesis CE&I Services, said at the meeting. “If we see it’s causing a significant problem, we can stop the contractor and get them off the road.”

The work schedule will depend on the weather.

More information on the project is available online at www.MyUS98.com.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #87 on: June 12, 2011, 04:57:04 PM »

Well, you will know if this is NOT the case...
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Alex

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #88 on: June 14, 2011, 05:02:31 PM »

Milton has eyes out for red-light runners

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The City of Milton will kickoff its red light camera program Wednesday.

Cameras have been placed on U.S. 90 at Glover Lane and Parkmore Plaza Road and at Dogwood Drive and Hamilton Bridge Road.

If a vehicle is caught on camera running the red lights at the intersections, the owner will be sent a warning ticket.

The city will start giving $158 citations to vehicle owners July 15.

"We did a survey at some intersections and saw the high frequency of red light running at those locations, and that's why we want cameras," Milton Police Chief Greg Brand said.

Red light cameras have been installed in cities across the state as a safety measure intended to reduce accidents and red light violations.

Gulf Breeze was the first city in Florida to use red light cameras. The city started its program in 2006.

Pensacola and Escambia County have passed ordinances approving the use of red light cameras. City and county officials still are working on getting the projects started.

Santa Rosa County has not passed an ordinance to use red light cameras.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #89 on: June 15, 2011, 10:00:40 AM »

Two pages of red light camera nonsense. Gulf Breeze reactivated their photocop in March as well...

Milton prepares to flip the switch on red light cameras

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FDOT will hold public meeting on U.S. 98 work (Santa Rosa)
« Reply #90 on: June 20, 2011, 11:34:35 AM »

FDOT will hold public meeting on U.S. 98 work

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The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting regarding planned improvements to U.S. 98 from the Pensacola Bay bridge to the entrance to the Gulf Breeze Zoo on Thursday.

The meeting is set for 5 p.m. at the Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church Community Life Center, located at 4115 Soundside Drive in Gulf Breeze.

The proposed improvements include resurfacing the existing travel lanes, minor drainage work, bicycle/pedestrian improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility improvements.

This project does not require right of way acquisition.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #91 on: June 27, 2011, 12:09:32 PM »

13 miles of U.S. 98 set for update in Gulf Breeze

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A stretch of the main thoroughfare in south Santa Rosa County is in line for a face-lift.

The public is invited to an open house meeting on Thursday night to see the proposed design of a project to resurface and rehabilitate about 13 miles of U.S. 98 from the southern foot of the Pensacola Bay bridge to the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Work isn't expected to start until fall 2013.

More than 43,000 vehicles travel that stretch on the average day, according to the Department of Transportation. The project is estimated to cost $17.7 million.

"The primary purpose of the project is to extend the service life and ride-ability of the road," DOT spokesman Tommie Speights said. "No additional right of way will be required. This project does not include changes to median openings, and the speed limit will not be changed."

The project includes adding bike lanes, sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements to sections of the roadway, he said.

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Toll high, but Garcon Point Bridge is broke (FL)
« Reply #92 on: June 30, 2011, 12:25:44 PM »

Toll high, but Garcon Point Bridge is broke

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The 12-year-old Garcon Point Bridge is going to be officially broke on Friday.

While those who use the bridge won't notice a thing, the bond holders are going to miss their $5 million payment and perhaps millions more after that.

Still, the span will remain open, and the toll will remain at $3.75, according to state Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, whose district includes the bridge.

Built with $90 million in bonds, the bridge has failed to bring in enough to pay its debts since 2001. Reserves have been used to fill in the gap until now.

Over the years, the bridge toll has steadily risen to help cover a traffic count that has always been far below projections.

In 1999, the one-way toll was $2. In January, when the latest hike took place, the toll was raised to $3.75.
Each toll increase has chased away motorists

"We live just off of Garcon Point Road and often would benefit from using the bridge, but simply don't because of the $7.50 round-trip price tag," said Davey Willhoit, 33. "It is the same distance for us to dine in Gulf Breeze or do our shopping there as it is to do the same in Pace or Milton, so paying $3.75 per trip for the pleasure of buying groceries or a meal seems a little silly."

The state Department of Transportation will continue to operate and maintain the bridge under a contract with the bridge owner, the Santa Rosa Bay Bridge Authority, Broxson said.

However, DOT will not step in to help make the $5 million payment due to those who purchased bonds to build the bridge, a decision that Broxson supports.

"I'm trying to help my constituents have a bridge they can afford, but I don't want to obligate the state for a debt they don't owe," he said. "I don't think any reasonable public servant would ask the taxpayers to take on an obligation they had no say in creating."

While the bulk of financial burden falls to the bond holders, Florida taxpayers are also on the hook for the authority's operation and maintenance contract with DOT.

That is a mounting $16 million debt that the authority has never paid and, now in default, won't pay soon. That bill grows by more than $1 million every year.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #93 on: July 27, 2011, 11:47:45 AM »

Gulf Breeze to discuss more red-light cameras

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Gulf Breeze City Council today is expected to discuss installing a set of red-light cameras at U.S. 98 and Gulf Breeze Hospital.

The spot has the highest number of traffic accidents in the city.

Sensys America, the company the city hired to install red light cameras at Daniel Drive and U.S. 98, conducted a survey at the hospital intersection on July 5 and 6 to determine if there was a need to install cameras there, as a tool to curb red light runners.

Data revealed there were 57 red light runners during the 16-hour period.

A survey was also conducted at the U.S. 98 and Northcliff Drive intersection. Only 20 motorists ran the red light there during the 16-hour period. Police Chief Peter Paulding is not recommending cameras be placed there.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #94 on: July 30, 2011, 10:54:18 AM »

Davis, I-10 intersection will undergo improvements

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Motorists traveling along one of Pensacola's busiest intersections — Davis Highway and Interstate 10 — will encounter lane restrictions next week.

Improvements to the southbound lane of Davis and the westbound ramp to I-10 will constrict traffic between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., starting Monday and continuing through Friday, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

News of the FDOT work and lane restrictions caught some businesses in the area by surprise, including convenience store manager Sonny Sison.

"We haven't been notified of the work," he said. "Hopefully they don't do the work at night. The traffic along here is bad enough as it is."

The Davis Highway-I-10 area by University Mall is no stranger to traffic delays and construction projects.

The intersection underwent extensive improvements in 2006 and 2007, causing major disruptions to area businesses.

However, FDOT spokeswoman Tanya Sanders Branton said the $20,258 project should be completed by Friday evening, weather permitting.

The major focus of the work is construction of a concrete traffic separator to funnel westbound I-10 traffic onto the entry ramp and separate southbound traffic on Davis.

The FDOT has contracted with Fleischman's Inc. to construct a lane separator, re-stripe the roadway, and make minor traffic signal adjustments. Crews also will change the lane markings on the westbound ramp to allow a constant flow of traffic onto the interstate.

Overhead signage will be upgraded to depict the changes to the roadway pattern.

Motorists are reminded to watch for construction equipment and workers entering and exiting the roadway, obey the posted speed limit and urged to use caution while traveling through the work zone, Branton added.

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FDOT Shape File Changes (NW FL)
« Reply #95 on: August 11, 2011, 10:46:51 AM »

I downloaded the latest shape files from FDOT and noted some changes in Northwest Florida:

  • SR 750 now extends west to US 29. This might explain why a Florida 750 shield appeared west of Florida 289. I'll check out the remainder of the route on Monday.
  • Okaloosa CR 4 was truncated just south of I-10 in Crestview, so now the route comprises a spur south from US 90. The old alignment was really wretched (south of PJ Adams Pkwy), so I am not surprised.
  • The wacky unsigned county road segments in Crestview of 0711, 1777, 1778 and the short 280A are all removed. Only unsigned CR 280A from downtown to US 90 in east Crestview remains.
  • The east-west segment of CR 2 from SR 85 to the northwest/southeast CR 2, all south of Laurel Hill, is decommissioned.
  • CR 190 in Niceville is gone.
  • No changes to SR 293 from White Point Road onto the Mid Bay Bridge Connector yet
  • Only a 1.64-mile segment of unsigned CR 30F on Airport Road in Destin remains, the other unsigned CR segments are gone.
  • The line work for CR 399 through Gulf Islands National Seashore was redrawn.
  • CR 85A leading northwest from SR 85 in Laurel Hill is gone

Also of interest, a Florida 289 shield now appears north of the US 98 turn from Ninth Avenue to Cervantes Street west. The stretch of Ninth Avenue from Cervantes to Texar Drive (SR 752) was previously unsigned.

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More Florida CR/SR changes
« Reply #96 on: August 12, 2011, 12:39:38 PM »

A couple more notes from the newest shapefiles:
Unsigned CR 189A south of Baker was truncated to a 2.519-mile spur.
CR 189 south of I-10 (Exit 45) was truncated.
Unsigned CR 397, a short spur from Milligan, is decommissioned
SR 290 (Olive Road) north of Pensacola was removed!

==
Looking at the rest of the state:
CR 210 from US 1 to SR A1A - removed.
SR 56 east of I-75 to SR 581 - removed.
SR 615 truncated south of CR 611B
CR 717 - removed between SR 15 and SR 700
And a couple other minor tweaks toward South Florida...

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #97 on: August 15, 2011, 12:02:39 PM »

State wants public comments on State Road 87 improvements

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The Florida Department of Transportation will be host of a meeting seeking public comment on alternatives to improve State Road 87 from East Milton to the area north of the City of Milton.

The meeting is set for Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Santa Rosa County Auditorium, 4530 Old Bagdad Highway, Milton.

The primary objectives for this project are to facilitate a more effective freight movement and hurricane evacuation route from the coast, to reduce congestion in the City of Milton, and promote economic prosperity while minimizing impacts to the community and environment.

Of six original alternatives, the three that would have taken traffic south of downtown Milton have been deemed not viable due to their impacts to protected Water Management District Lands. Three routes that would take traffic north of town before reconnecting to the current roadway are still considered viable.

Those wishing to submit written statements in place of, or in addition to, oral statements may do so at the meeting or by sending them to Peggy Kelley at 1074 U.S. 90 East, Chipley, FL 32428, or via email at peggy.kelley@dot.state.fl.us. All exhibits or statements postmarked on or before Aug. 30 will become a part of the public record.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #98 on: August 16, 2011, 10:41:48 AM »

Noted on the latest Bing aerials of Escambia County that land is cleared and there is grading along side U.S. 90 by the Perdido River. Looked it up and low and behold:

Quote
State Road 10 (US 90) over Perdido River

    * Bridge Replacement
    * Project start date: September 2010
    * Estimated Completion: winter 2012
    * Contractor: Scott Bridge Company, Inc.

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Re: Northwest Florida Road News
« Reply #99 on: August 17, 2011, 05:25:25 PM »

A couple more notes from the newest shapefiles:
Unsigned CR 189A south of Baker was truncated to a 2.519-mile spur.
CR 189 south of I-10 (Exit 45) was truncated.
Unsigned CR 397, a short spur from Milligan, is decommissioned
SR 290 (Olive Road) north of Pensacola was removed!

==
Looking at the rest of the state:
CR 210 from US 1 to SR A1A - removed.
SR 56 east of I-75 to SR 581 - removed.
SR 615 truncated south of CR 611B
CR 717 - removed between SR 15 and SR 700
And a couple other minor tweaks toward South Florida...


Very interesting, especially about (former) SR 290. I've been looking at the maps on FDOT's site and noticed something called (SR) 368A in Panama City which looks like the still-maintained old alignment of 368 at US 98. I thought they gave that section back, and now they've re-acquired it??
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