Highway 331 Bridge and Widening Project to Begin in January - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Highway 331 Bridge and Widening Project to Begin in January

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Crossing the Choctawhatchee Bay has gone through many phases over the years. Some of which can still be seen today.

"The old bridge was a draw bridge," said Chairman of the Walton County Board of Commissioner, Bill Chapman. "It had old wood pilings and some of them you probably seen out here to your right."

Soon the Clyde B. Wells bridge will be joined with a matching structure to it's east providing two northbound lanes, which are scheduled to be ready for traffic in the Summer of 2015.

"You put it all together and I think it's a solution for prosperity and growth for Walton county and Northwest Florida," said Senator Don Gaetz.  

The additional bridge and the expansion of the roadway north of State Road 20 will provide some much needed relief for travelers as they currently battle heavy traffic volume.

"People in Walton County have wanted to solve the problem of how to get across Choctawhatchee Bay safely," said Gaetz. "To get people to work to get tourists to their destinations and to get our products to market.

But officials at Friday's ground breaking are seeing more than 40 years of work come to fruition.

"So the next four years there's going to be a lot of activity," said Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation Ananth Prasad. "There will be some frustrating moments there as we move traffic around and get dump trucks in and out of that, but I think the end is in sight and once this bridge is done and the highway four laned it's going to be truly a game changer for Walton County."

And a project that was pushed so heavily to the forefront by residents in Walton County will start construction in January.

"The community, I think, is going to be surprised and pleased whenever this thing is done," said Chapman. "Now that were going to start seeing some pile-ons going in next month it's going to be great."

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