State Road 79 Set to Expand in Washington and Holmes County - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

State Road 79 Set to Expand in Washington and Holmes County

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A major thoroughfare through Washington and Holmes Counties is getting an upgrade, as 20 miles of State Road 79 will soon see four lanes.

The Florida Department of Transportation held a public meeting in Vernon on Tuesday to address the project.

FDOT says the project is good for business and it should increase safety as a more efficient hurricane evacuation route.

The meeting introduced two phases of a 4 phase project. B and C, as they are referred to, will 4 lane 9.2 miles of road from County Road 279 to I-10.

Residents of the area addressed concerns of right of way purchases and what the future expansion, set to begin in the Fall, will mean for their land adjacent to the road.

In addition to constructing grass medians in rural areas, new parallel bridges will be constructed over Cypress Creek and Open Creek.

FDOT Public Information Director, Ian Satter, says the project opens up the area to more industry as a major transport hub.

We're looking to help, with this widening, to enhance economic prosperity in the area. A larger corridor allows for more opportunity for business to come in and set up shop, for people to come in a set up jobs for Florida families, so these are all things that are a part of this widening process. By doing so, we're allowing the public to see a benefit of that through this meeting," said Satter.

The total project is expected to cost 98 million dollars.