SR 388 travels east from SR 79 at West Bay to SR 77 at Vicksburg to the north of West Bay. The state road joins Panama City Beach and Panama City with Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), a $318-million facility opened on May 22, 2010.1 Bay County Road 388 comprises a 15.197-mile arc east from SR 77 near Vicksburg to Bennett and U.S. 231 at Youngstown.

The rural highway traverses timberland throughout its 12.339-mile course, much of which is owned by the St. Joe Company. Long range plans by the developer outline Watersound, a large-scale retirement community akin to the Villages in Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties. Approved by state and local agencies on June 30, 2015, the 110,000 acre Bay-Walton Sector Plan spans portions of both Walton and Bay Counties. It envisions 170,000 new residential units and 22 million square feet plus of retail, office, and industrial uses. Initial development targets areas west of SR 79 and north of the Intracoastal Waterway near the west end of SR 388.2

An agreement between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Bay County Commission established State Road 388. Approved on June 4, 2013, the transfer shifted the 12.25-mile long highway between SR 79 and SR 77 to the state agency. The move precedes work to widen the state road to four lanes.3

The initial SR 388 expansion project (424464-7) will realign and four-lane a six mile section of SR 388, from east of Burnt Mill Creek to SR 77 at CR 388. Estimated to cost around $81.5-million, the future road work includes adding bike lanes and a multi-use path.4 An additional project will convert the intersection at West Bay Parkway, entrance road for Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), into a multi-lane roundabout.5

The "Fighting for Florida's Future" FY 2017-18 Budget announced by Governor Rick Scott on January 31, 2017 allocated $10.8 million for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The budget included a $32.6 million investment to add lanes and rebuild SR 388 from SR 79 to east of ECP Airport, make signal improvements at SR 79 and construct the roundabout with West Bay Parkway.6 Bids for this project (424464-5) are scheduled for fall 2020.


Florida 388 east
Florida 388 intersects Shady Glen Trail south to the Rivercamps on Crooked Creek development 0.6 miles east of Florida 79. Photo taken 10/13/16.
A long straight away leads motorists on SR 388 northeast across Crooked Creek. West Bay Parkway follows to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP). Photo taken 10/13/16.
West Bay Parkway stems north from SR 388 to the passenger terminal of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP). Widening of SR 388 will replace this intersection with a multi-lane roundabout. Photo taken 10/13/16.
The first confirming marker for SR 388 eastbound appears beyond West Bay Parkway. Photo taken 10/13/16.
Continuing east from ECP Airport, SR 388 crosses Burnt Mill Creek. Photo taken 10/13/16.
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East from Burnt Mill Creek, SR 388 traverses undeveloped timber land along the six miles leading to SR 77 at Vicksburg. Photos taken 10/13/16.
Florida 388 concludes at Florida 77 and the rural settlement of Vicksburg. Florida 77 is the central of the three north-south corridors joining coastal Bay County with Interstate 10. Photo taken 10/13/16.
The eastern branch of CR 388 to U.S. 231 at Youngstown emerges from Florida 77 less than a mile to the north. Photo taken 10/13/16.
Florida 388 west
Florida 388 travels four miles from West Bay Parkway to Florida 79 at West Bay. Photo taken 06/19/11.
Florida 388 ends at Florida 79 at the community of West Bay. Florida 79 comprises a four-lane, divided highway south into Panama City Beach and north to Ebro, Vernon and Bonifay. Photo taken 06/19/11.
Traffic lights were added at the intersection of Florida 388 and 79 in 2012. Widening of Florida 388 scheduled for construction starting in 2020 includes realigning the state road 1.25 miles northward. Photo taken 06/19/11.
West Bay Parkway
West Bay Parkway links SR 388 with Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP). This scene looks northward just beyond the state road. Photo taken 06/19/11.
The four-lane, divided parkway travels two miles north from SR 388 to the passenger terminal. Photo taken 06/19/11.
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) replaced Panama City-Bay County International Airport when it commenced operations in May 2010. The $318-million facility was constructed on 4,000 acres of land donated by the St. Joe Co.7 Photo taken 06/19/11.
West Bay Parkway leaves the short term parking area and passenger terminal of ECP Airport and heads south two miles to SR 388. Photo taken 06/19/11.
Cargo facilities for ECP Airport lie east of West Bay Parkway along Johnny Reaver Road. Photo taken 06/19/11.
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West Bay Parkway south at Florida 388 west to Florida 79 south to Panama City Beach and east to Florida 77 south to Panama City. Photos taken 06/19/11.

Sources:

  1. "Hundreds celebrate airport's opening." Panama City News Herald (FL), May 23, 2010.
  2. "State, counties approve St. Joe’s massive Bay-Walton plan." Panama City News Herald (FL), June 30, 2015.
  3. "Commission OKs County 388 transfer to state." Panama City News Herald (FL), June 5, 2013.
  4. "FDOT to widen 6 miles of Highway 388." Panama City News Herald (FL), July 26, 2018.
  5. "Roundabout planned at Beaches International entrance." Panama City News Herald (FL), November 10, 2017.
  6. "Gov. Scott's "Fighting for Florida's Future" Budget Invests More than $10 Billion in Florida's Transportation and Infrastructure." Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), news release. January 31, 2017.
  7. "Soaring to success: 5 years after opening, beach airport continues to break records." Panama City News Herald (FL), October 10, 2015.


Photo Credits:

06/19/11, 10/13/16 by AARoads

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Page Updated 08-23-2018.