PCB moving forward with Phase 2 of Bay Parkway
The City of Panama City Beach is advertising for bids on Phase 2 of Bay Parkway. This 2.71-mile section would connect the existing Bay Parkway at Pier Park Drive to Nautilus Street and Panama City Beach Parkway.
The project includes construction of the roadway, stormwater ponds and drainage systems, sidewalks, force main, reclaimed water and a multi-use path. The project begins at the end of Phase 1 of Bay Parkway and travels east 1.56 miles and then travels south for 1.15 miles to connect to Nautilus Street at Colony Club near the new fire station. Improvements will also be made on the existing Nautilus Street section to Panama City Beach Parkway.
Bay Parkway, which is being completed in phases, is a local bypass project designed to alleviate congestion on Panama City Beach Parkway. The first two phases focus on bypassing Pier Park.
Phase 1, completed in 2017, extends from State Road 79 north of the Municipal Complex to Pier Park Drive north of Frank Brown Park.
Mayor Mike Thomas said it is imperative progress continue on the roadway.
“This gives a better opportunity for people to miss the more congested area of the city and help with emergency vehicles moving along Panama City Beach Parkway,” said Thomas. “A lot of traffic moves through the 79 and Back Beach Road corridor heading north and use of these first two Bay Parkway sections will take those drivers off that busy portion of the beach.
“This has been a long process and it has taken too long to get this far. Transportation issues are very complicated, and we recognize they often do not move as fast as we would like. I’ll be glad to get this phase finished and have pretty immediate relief. Since this property is undeveloped, we can expect construction to be faster. There are no water and sewer issues and crossings on the right of way.”
The Parkway is being constructed as part of a public-private partnership with Panama City Beach, Bay County, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the St. Joe Company.
The City and the County have each committed $3.5 million to the approximately $8.5 million project. The City has an agreement with the County and FDOT that secures $4 million in grant funds from FDOT, to go toward construction which will begin this spring. Due to an increase in construction costs the current estimate of the roadway construction is approximately $11.5 million. This does not include the cost of utilities that will be included in the bid. The utility improvements will be paid out of the Panama City Beach Utility Department’s Budget. Segment 2 of Bay Parkway could be fully operational by the end of 2021.
Bay Parkway is being constructed to FDOT standards with the belief that in the future the state will fund an additional two lanes for Bay Parkway, giving motorists a new 4-lane bypass.
Bids are being accepting until 2 p.m. on February 18. A mandatory pre-bid meeting is February 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Public Information Officer Debbie Ward can be reached at email@example.com or (850) 233-5100, Ext. 2261.