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Panama City Beach moves forward with Bay Parkway bypass project

Construction could start in early 2019

Post Date:05/11/2018 8:20 AM

 Bay Parkway

The Existing 1.4 mile stretch of Bay Parkway is shown where it intersects with Pier Park Drive.

The Panama City Beach City Council took a major step toward the extension of Bay Parkway Thursday by approving an agreement with an engineering firm for the planning and design of Segment 2 of the roadway.

Approving a professional services agreement with Gortemoller Engineering of Panama City Beach represents the city’s full commitment to the road’s construction. Gortemoller will be under contract for $698,000 for engineering of the roadway.

This approximately 2.4-mile portion will connect the existing Bay Parkway to Nautilus Street at Panama City Beach Parkway. Previously called Loop Road and Back Back Beach Road, Bay Parkway is being constructed as a bypass to alleviate traffic and improve safety and capacity on Panama City Beach Parkway and State Road 79, and as a hurricane evacuation route.

The road is being constructed as part of a public-private partnership with Panama City Beach, Bay County, FDOT and the St. Joe Company.

The City has committed $3.5 million in total to the approximately $8.5 million project, with a match from Bay County for another $3.5 million. The City has set aside $2.7 million for the project, with $1.5 million coming from the half cent surtax and $1.2 million coming from the general fund.

Bay County is also applying for up to $4 million in grant funds from the Florida Department of Transportation, which only the county is eligible to apply for, which would also go toward the construction.

Once the design phase is completed, bids will be solicited. Construction could kick off in early 2019 and Segment 2 of Bay Parkway could be fully operational by mid-2020.

The 1.4-mile Segment 1 of Bay Parkway from State Highway 79 to Pier Park Drive, was completed in the summer of 2017 at a cost of about $3 million.

Nautilus 2

Nautilus Street at Fairway Circle. 

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