Within days, residents of Premier Estates will have a new option for accessing the subdivision. Construction of a new entrance is nearly complete, and that will set the stage for the widening of Baldwin Road.
In December 2012, Bay County commissioners purchased a house on Wood Valley Road just so they could have it torn down to clear the way for an entrance from Harrison Avenue.
The road base, curbs, gutters and sidewalks are in and asphalt is coming later this week. Also planned are landscaping, sign and an 8' vinyl fence to separate adjacent properties from the roadway.
Once the entrance is completed, attention will turn to widening Baldwin Road from Harrison Avenue to Minnesota Avenue. A concrete barrier will prevent left turns into the subdivision.
"If we had not constructed this connector road… the folks who live in Premier Estates never would be able to come out and make a left," Keith Bryant, the county's Traffic Engineering Manager, said. "This will give them a safe way to come out to Harrison Avenue and utilize the traffic signal to take a left and go east."
Bay County and the Florida Department of Transportation will each fund 50% of the project cost. Bryant said it will be money well spent. "[Baldwin] is one of our busiest collector roads in the county [and] with the congestion that we currently have on Highway 390, this will give us another route," Bryant said. "This is a tremendous project."
Bryant said the county will advertise for bids on the design/build of the Baldwin Road project in October and plans to have construction underway by January 2014.