Sidewalks may be added to the north end of Thomas Drive in coming months.
The Bay County Board of Commissioners will vote to approve the project, Tuesday morning. Thomas Drive is a busy road with both cars and pedestrians. Not long ago sidewalks were added to the south side of the street, but the need is still there for the north-end.
If approved a Florida Department of Transportation grant will fund the project costing about $1.5 million. It is expected to get started sometime later this year and construction will last 300 days.
The sidewalks will stretch from North Lagoon Drive to Laird Street. The project will add connectivity at vital points to increase pedestrian safety. Plans include a connection near Daniel Street for the GulfCoastVillage to get access to area stores and a connection to sidewalks already on Patronis street for access to the elementary school.
BayCounty Traffic Engineering Manager, Keith Bryant, said the previous phases of this project have already gotten a lot of use and the next step is much needed. "We had so many people walking along the edge of the road way,” he said. “So, many people that you could see the trail and when you see that trail that's kind of a good indication that you need to be looking at a sidewalk for that area. We did pedestrian studies with the DOT to confirm the need; they agreed there is a tremendous need."
Engineers anticipate another phase after this one that will build sidewalks all the way up to the HathawayBridge. The Bay County Commission is expected to vote on the project, Tuesday morning at 9 am.