Florida 123

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SR 123 provides a cut off for SR 85 south to Fort Walton Beach and north to Crestview through areas of Eglin Air Force Base. The 6.00 mile mile long state road connects with SR 85 at a grade separated interchange adjacent to the passenger terminal of Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). A flyover joins the north end of SR 123 with SR 85 leading away from Niceville toward Duke Field AFS and I-10 at Crestview.

Improvements to SR 123 got underway in August 2009 as part of a $25.6 million project along SR 85. Funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), construction added an interchange between the two state roads and widened SR 85 to six lanes between General Bond Boulevard and the entrance to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). The flyover from SR 85 north to SR 123 opened to motorists on September 21, 2012. Work on the remainder of the project continued to the end of 2012.1,2

Expansion of SR 123 from two to four lanes commenced in August 2014. Split into three sections, the northern 2.9 mile portion included construction of a flyover ramp linking SR 123 north with SR 85 north. This segment was accepted by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on August 26, 2016.3 Segments 2 and 3, including new bridges over Toms Creek, Turkey Creek and an unnamed stream, was delayed due to erosion control violations by the construction contractor.4 Work extended through Summer 2017.5

Florida State Road 123 North
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A two lane flyover departs SR 85 (Eglin Parkway) northbound for SR 123 to Crestview and Interstate 10. Photos taken 01/25/13.
Florala, Alabama represents the north end of SR 85, where it transitions to Alabama State Route 55. Photo taken 01/25/13.
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SR 123 (Roger J. Clary Highway) bee lines four miles north through Eglin Air Force Base. Photos taken 01/25/13.
Tom's Creek flows below SR 123 at an elevation of 30 feet above sea level. SR 123 climbs back to over 140 feet above sea level on the ensuing stretch. Photo taken 01/25/13.
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SR 123 undulates over bridges across an unnamed tributary and Turkey Creek preceding the northern merge with SR 85. Photos taken 11/13/16.
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SR 123 defaults onto a flyover for SR 85 north ahead of Duke Field AFS and Crestview. A grade level ramp leads motorists back south on SR 85 toward Niceville. Photos taken 11/13/16.
Prior to construction of the flyover, a signalized intersection connected the north end of SR 123 with SR 85. Photo taken 11/13/16.
Florida State Road 123 South
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SR 123 branches southwest from SR 85 at a wye interchange in Eglin Air Force Base. State Road 123 is designated the Roger J. Clary Highway. Photos taken 11/13/16.
SR 123 south provides a bypass of Niceville for the continuation of SR 85 southwest from Valparaiso to the town of Shalimar and city of Fort Walton Beach. Photo taken 11/13/16.
SR 85 travels 1.8 miles south from SR 123 to SR 189, which spurs into Elgin Air Force Base. Hurlburt Field is a 15 mile drive via SR 189 (Lewis Turner Boulevard), Green Acres Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Photo taken 11/13/16.
Southbound SR 123 drops 100 feet in elevation to cross Turkey Creek. Photo taken 11/13/16.
Expansion of SR 123 to four lanes across Turkey Creek extended to July 2017. Photo taken 11/13/16.
Beyond Turkey Creek, SR 123 rises to 100 feet above sea level before lowering again across an unnamed tributary. South from there, the state road ascends to 130 feet above sea level ahead of Tom's Creek. Photo taken 11/13/16.
The original bridge across Tom's Creek on SR 123 was constructed in 1975. It became part of the northbound roadway during the four lane construction project. Photo taken 01/25/13.
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Progressing south from Tom's Creek, SR 123 rises 50 feet in elevation to the exchange with SR 85 (Eglin Parkway) at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). Photos taken 01/25/13.
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Traffic separates at the two wye interchange with SR 85. Two lanes directly merge onto SR 85 south ahead of the split with General Bond Boulevard to Fort Walton Beach. Photos taken 01/25/13.
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The connection to SR 85 north from SR 123 south utilizes the north side frontage road for Eglin Parkway between the flyover for SR 123 north and the entrance to VPS Airport. Photos taken 01/25/13.
State Road 85 (Eglin Parkway) angles northeast from SR 123 to the city of Valparaiso and SR 190. SR 190 (Valparaiso Parkway) east to SR 397 (John Sims Parkway) south leads to the Eglin Air Force Base north gate. Photo taken 01/25/13.
A split diamond interchange joins SR 85 (Eglin Parkway) with terminal access road to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). Photo taken 01/25/13.
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The south side frontage road of Eglin Parkway completes the connection from SR 123 southbound to SR 85 north to Valparaiso. Photos taken 01/25/13.

Sources:

  1. "SR 123 flyover to open Wednesday night." Northwest Florida Daily News: (Fort Walton Beach), September 19, 2012.
  2. "SR 123 flyover opening delayed." Northwest Florida Daily News: (Fort Walton Beach), September 20, 2012.
  3. Milestones Reached on State Road 123 Projects. Florida Department of Transportation - State Road 123 Construction Update web page.
  4. "End in sight for SR 123 road work." Northwest Florida Daily News: (Fort Walton Beach), October 5, 2016.
  5. "Okaloosa and Walton traffic changes scheduled." Crestview News Bulleton (FL), July 10, 2017.


Photo Credits:

01/25/13, 11/13/16 by AARoads

Connect with:
Florida 85

Page Updated 04-26-2019.